12 Months Jail, SR 500,000 fines for taking pictures or video of Bride during Wedding

Now taking videos or photos of a bride during a wedding ceremony or a woman only party in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in violation of the privacy of the bride and will constitute a crime which shall be punishable by a prison sentence of 1 year and also a monetary fine of SAR 500,000, the legal experts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have stated.  The penalty in such kinds of criminal acts which are either carried out intentionally or unintentionally for example if at any event one of the girls wants to be photographed, however other girls also appear in the photograph by accident, the penalty will remain same regardless of the true intent. This was stated by a lawyer, Ibrahim Zamzami while speaking to the media on the issue.[irp]

Zamzami has laid great stress upon the fact that there is a problem which is aggravated when any video or photo has been uploaded on to the snap chat social media platform under the icon of “My Story” where any other person might be able to see the video or photo and then also upload it on to another mobile, allowing them to blackmail the other woman, which is a crime in itself. A woman has recounted the story of the wedding of her daughter which took place last spring.

The entire wedding parade had been published on Snapchat as she could not completely prevent all the guests at the wedding from taking videos or photos. All of the lights had been turned off when the bride was coming in and only a spotlight was shining on her. Only seconds later, all she could see was the flashes coming out of the camera right until her daughter had reached the platform.

Several wedding halls located in Madinah, as well as other cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have banned the entry of all mobile phones which have a camera in them. The mobile application snap chat had become problematic for all people who were holding wedding ceremonies or wedding parties as they cannot possibly prevent any of the guests coming to the wedding from photographing and filming the bride when she is walking down the aisle or during her parade.

The supervisor at one of the wedding halls located in Madinah, have stated that even though there is a ban on the entry of cameras and mobile phones with cameras inside the wedding halls, some of the girls coming as guests to the wedding will hide their cameras and mobile phones inside the long sleeves on their dresses or inside their shoes. Once they are inside the wedding hall they will take them out and then use it to photograph the bride as well as the other people at the wedding.[irp]

There are several reasons as to why people should not photograph or film any woman either during the day or at a special event such as wedding or ceremony. The Saudi people live conservative lives and do not like an invasion of their privacy.

Source: Arab News


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