Saudi journalist to be lashed in public

Reporter accused of instigating protests at government power company

A Saudi journalist is to be lashed in public after he was convicted of instigating protests against a government electricity company because of continuous power cuts in a central town, Ajel online newspaper said on Monday.

The court in Qubba in the central province of Qaseem sentenced Fahd Al Jukhaidib, a journalist in the Saudi Arabic language daily Aljazierah, to two months in prison and 50 lashes with the whip, including 25 lashes in public in front of the electricity department, the paper said.

Al Jukaidib was accused of leading residents of Qubba to the department two years ago to demand action to resolve continuous power cuts in the town.

A few days later, the company yielded to their demands and sent seven additional power generators to the town.

“The problem was over but I was later summoned by police, who charged me of instigating protests. I was then referred to court, which has just sentenced me to two months in prison and 50 lashes, including 25 lashes in front of the electricity department,” the paper quoted Al Jukhaidib as saying.

“I will see a lawyer to appeal this sentence because the charge has no basis…I did not incite the residents but they only asked me to come with them and talk to the power company…there was no protest and everything was done peacefully.”
 

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