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Saudi Arabia: Draft Law to Punish Individuals Who Use Social Media to Attack Islam

(Aug. 1, 2012) On July 15, 2012, the Shura Council, also known as the Consultative Assembly, a body that advises the King of Saudi Arabia on legislative matters, announced that it is drafting a law to combat individuals who criticize Islam and Islamic law through the use of blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. The law will also establish a mechanism to trace those individuals electronically in order to identify their location. Finally, the draft law grants the General Prosecution Office the right to file a criminal action against those individuals after they have been located and arrested. (New Legislation to Punish Bloggers Insulting Islam, AL BASHEER NEWS (July 15, 2012).)

The proposed law was drafted following the arrest of Saudi journalist and blogger Hamzah Kashghri, who publicly criticized on Facebook the behavior of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. (Id.)