ISSN 2330-717X

Saudi Arabia: Spying On Spouse’s Cell Could Bring SR500,000 Fine, Prison


Checking out your spouse’s phone in Saudi Arabia without his or her consent because you suspect some indiscretion could cost you a whopping SR500,000 fine, a year in jail, or both.

This is according to lawyer Khaled Al-Babatain, who told a local publication that the definition of spying under current laws include eavesdropping or accessing information electronically.

He said the same penalties would apply if someone tries to access information or photographs for the purposes of blackmail and extortion. This applies to husbands and wives, and members of the same family. Al-Babatain said defamation online is considered a separate offense.

Lawyer Ibrahim Al-Zamzai said there is a difference between simply looking at your spouse’s phone and gaining information electronically. The former is an offense that a judge can punish at his discretion, but the latter is considered spying.

Former judge Nasr Al-Yamani said spying on a spouse is forbidden in Islam. However, judges have some discretion, especially if women apply for the annulment of their marriages by claiming they have evidence of their husbands’ infidelity.

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Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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