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Saudi Arabia: Human rights defender Fahd Bin Abdu-Rahman Al-Harbi sentenced to two months in prison and lashes in public
On 26 October 2010, a court in Qubba, in the central province of Qaseem, Saudi Arabia, sentenced human rights defender Mr Fahd Bin Abdu-Rahman Al-Harbi (known as Fahd Al Jukhaidib), to two months in prison and 50 lashes, including 25 lashes in public in front of the local electricity department.
Fahd Al Jukhaidib was convicted of instigating and taking part in protests against a government electricity company because of continuous power cuts in Qubba. Fahd Al Jukhaidib is the editor of the daily newspaper Aljazierah, and principal of a local secondary school.
Mr Al Jukhaidib was accused of leading residents of Qubba to the electricity department to demand action to resolve continuous power cuts in the town. Fahd Al Jukhaidib reported the story on the front page Aljazierah.
A few days later, the company yielded to the demands of local residents and sent seven additional power generators to the town. However, Fahd Al Jukhaidib was summoned by police, who interrogated him, charged him with instigating protests.
He appeared before a court in Qaseem which convicted him as charged. Fahd Al Jukhaidib was assigned a lawyer to appeal his conviction.
Front Line strongly condemns the sentence imposed on human rights defender Mr Fahd Al Jukhaidib and believes that whipping in public is a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and therefore prohibited under international law. Front Line fears for the physical and psychological integrity of Mr Fahd Al Jukhaidib as he faces a two-month prison sentence.