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WhatsApp Insult Leads To Saudi Woman Being Divorced And Sentenced To 70 Lashes

17/03/2015 13:30 GMT | Updated 17/03/2015 14:59 GMT

An instant messaging App has been cited as the reason for a divorce between a couple in Saudi Arabia.

The man filed to end his marriage after noting his wife had the WhatsApp status message: “I pray to be patient enough to put up with you”, followed by his initials, Daily Sabah writes.

Quoting Arabic daily newspaper Al-Hayat, it adds the couple’s relationship had already been under stress, but that the status was “the last straw”.

Several media reports state the woman was also sentenced to 70 lashes and a fine of 20,000 riyals for “insulting” her husband in this manner.

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Article Three of the Saudi Anti-Cyber Crime Law states anyone who defames or inflicts damage upon others through various information technology devices “shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding 500,000 riyals or to either punishment.”

Legal expert Khalid Al-Halibi told Al Arabiya: “Social media is the number one cause of divorce nowadays. Any couple that publicly insults one another is already in a developed stage of conflict.

“What the wife did in this case was simply a mental release and she did not pay much heed to how much she was insulting her husband. The husband should have had a conversation with the wife to understand her motives.”

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