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Saudi court convicts man for kissing

Associated Press / June 11, 2010

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A Saudi court convicted a man and sentenced him to four months in prison and 90 lashes for kissing a woman in a mall, a government-owned daily reported yesterday.

Saudi religious police arrested the man and two women after seeing them on mall cameras “engaging in immoral movements in front of other shoppers,’’ the Al-Yom newspaper said. The man, in his 20s, was seen with a woman “sitting on one of the chairs, exchanging kisses and hugs.’’ It was unclear what the other woman was doing. Neither the man nor the women were identified by name.

The kingdom’s powerful religious police enforce Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islam, which prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling.

The newspaper said the man sentenced for kissing will receive his 90 lashes in three batches and is banned from malls for two years.

The women will be tried in another court.

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