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SAUDI ARABIA: Man in sexually suggestive YouTube video is arrested

March 10, 2010 |  7:41 am

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YouTube can get lewd and licentiousness, and that just doesn't sit well with Saudi authorities.

Again, a controversial, sexually charged video has gone viral in Saudi Arabia. And, again, it appears to have ruffled the feathers of Saudi guardians of morality.

This time, a young Saudi man dressed in a police uniform flirts wildly with a person off-camera. He's been arrested and charged with morality crimes. 

Making your own sexually suggestive videos and then posting them on the Internet is a no-no in conservative Saudi Arabia. In February, a Saudi court sentenced the infamous swinger Mazen Abdul Jawad to jail for five years. He had bragged about his sex life on an Arab television show. He also was sentenced to 1,000 lashes.

In the video posted on YouTube, a man posing as a police officer asks the cameraman for his driver's license and registration. The man in the police uniform says that both of them are expired, pulls out what looks like a handgun and suggests the cameraman give him "comfort" instead of paying the fine.

Police in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah arrested the 27-year-old man earlier this year and reportedly have  charged him with engaging in "inappropriate acts," among other offenses. The cameraman also has been detained, Saudi media report.

Police Lt. Nawaf Bouq told the Saudi English-language daily Arab News that the man in the uniform is facing charges including homosexuality, general security and impersonating a police officer.

He added that the man had previously faced “a homosexual [charge] but was bailed out.”

It was apparently not the plan to make the case public due to its sensitive nature, but after the video spread like wildfire in the kingdom, they felt inclined to "set things straight" in public comments.

"We were directed by higher authorities to give a statement to the press in order to clear things up to the public,” said Bouq. “We always make sure that cases like this are not open to the public. I don’t think it’s appropriate or important for the citizens or the country. But after rumors were spread on the Internet, we had to set things straight.”

-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut

Photo: A man posing as a police officer in a YouTube video is under arrest in Saudi Arabia and is facing several criminal charges. Credit: YouTube
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