Two Saudi Arabian women have been sentenced to 20 lashes after it was discovered that they used bad language while arguing with each other on WhatsApp.
The women were also jailed for 10 days after the criminal court in Jeddah said they had used ‘impermissible expressions’ in their text messages. They were also warned that the punishment would be worse if they used such language again.
The case was brought to the Saudi court after one of the women accused her friend of using ‘abusive expressions’ during their WhatsApp conversation. According to Arabic newspaper Al Watan, the woman was asked by the court to produce her phone so that the alleged offensive messages would be examined.
However, the accused woman claimed that she was not the first one to start the argument and showed another message in which the defendant used bad language from about two months beforehand.
The court then decided that both women were equally as guilty and handed down the sentences.
The sentence comes as Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly condemned for violating human rights, discriminating against woman and restricting freedom of expression.