Saudi court punishes group of men and women for mingling at a party with lashings, prison time
In Saudi Arabia, fighting for your right to party could get you beaten and thrown in jail.
A group of four men and 11 women were convicted Tuesday for socializing at a party, and sentenced to floggings and time in prison, judicial officials told The Associated Press.
Saudi law adheres to a strict interpretation of Islam that prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling with each other.
The officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, said the revelers were caught partying together until the wee hours of the morning last month and were tried by a Saudi Court in the northern town of Ha'il.
Each member of the group was sentenced to an unspecified number of lashes and a prison sentence of one or two years, except for a female minor. She will be punished with 80 lashes but will not be sent to prison.
Severe penalties for socializing with the opposite sex are common in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month, a Saudi court sentenced a man in his 20s to four months in prison and 90 lashes for kissing and hugging a woman in a mall. The man also was banned from malls for two years.
In March, CNN reported that a 75-year-old Syrian woman was sentenced to 40 lashes, imprisonment and deportation by a Saudi Arabian court after religious police found her mingling in her home with two unrelated men, whom she said were life-long friends.
Both men were arrested and sentenced to lashes and time in prison