JEDDAH — The Criminal Court in Jeddah sentenced a Saudi woman to 48 hours in jail for shooting video of a couple without their permission inside a restaurant in the city.
The woman had to pay a heavy price for infringing privacy through using the freedom of filming after she was convicted of taking video of a citizen and his wife while they were in a famous restaurant and coffee shop in the Jeddah Corniche. The court also ruled that the convict shall undertake a pledge not to repeat such an act in the future.
Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learnt from sources that a citizen lodged a lawsuit with the court, accusing a female citizen of taking video without his permission, in addition to mocking and uttering offensive words against him and his wife. The plaintiff pleaded the court to punish the woman for her infringement on their privacy.
On her part, the accused woman appeared in the court and admitted that she had taken video of the complainant and his wife but she denied uttering any offensive words against them. She also justified the filming as a proof of the couple’s offensive words against her.
The defendant also claimed that she had deleted the clip, after the prosecution took her phone in custody and did not have a copy of the video footage in question. In her reply submitted to the court, the woman clarified that she had filmed the couple following a dispute between them on the road before they entered the restaurant, and during the brawl the man verbally abused her with the phrase ‘Oh, cow.’ She also pointed out that the husband’s face was visible in the deleted video clip while his wife’s face did not appear.
The criminal court listened to the two parties involved in the dispute, and noted that the defendant admitted taking video of the couple without their permission. The confession is the master of evidence and there is no excuse for the one who confessed the crime, the court said, while ruling that this was an act of assaulting the privacy of individuals and thus infringing the personal right of the couple.