There is no age of consent in Saudi Arabia, as all sexual activity outside of marriage is illegal. Qatar has no age limit for marriage, although parental consent is required. Saudi Arabia does not have a close-in-age exemption. Close in age exemptions, commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws" in the United States , are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.
Saudi law utilizes the Waqf , which is a form of land ownership whereby a Muslim can transfer property to a foundation for long-term religious or charitable purposes. Saudi Arabia's vast oil reserves are owned by the Saudi government, in effect the Saudi royal family. The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is responsible for general strategy in the oil and gas sectors and for monitoring the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco. Human rights issues and failings in the rule of law in Saudi Arabia have attracted strong criticism.
Between and , Saudi Arabia acceded to four UN human rights conventions and, in , the government approved the establishment of the National Society for Human Rights NSHR , staffed by government employees, to monitor their implementation. Because Sharia, as applied by Saudi courts, is uncodified and because judges are not bound by judicial precedent, the scope and content of the law is uncertain.
As in many countries, those with influence may receive favorable treatment before the law.
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According to a former managing editor at Arab News , the ruling House of Saud is so unwilling "to let one of their own face the consequences of his criminal activity" that on the rare occasions that they are arrested for a crime, the perpetrating prince is pardoned Prince Fahd bin Naif, who was 19, gunned down Mundir al-Qadi in or released, and further media mention of the incident forbidden by the Ministry of Culture and Information four princes that participated in the disruption of a Eid al-Fitr gathering on the corniche of Jeddah .
On the other hand, blue collar foreign workers have sometimes been unable to collect salaries due even when the Saudi Labor Office has ruled in their favor, since employers can stall payment until the worker' work permits have expired. Every adult woman has to have a close male relative as her "guardian". The religious police mutawa impose restrictions on women when in public. No political parties or national elections are permitted in Saudi Arabia  and according to The Economist 's Democracy Index , the Saudi government is the seventh most authoritarian regime from among the countries rated.
Western-based organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned both the Saudi criminal justice system and its severe punishments. Human Rights Watch, in their report on Saudi Arabian criminal justice system, noted that the criminal procedure code introduced in lacked some basic protections but, as mentioned above, had been ignored by judges in any case. Saudi Arabia has been condemned by various international organizations for its discriminatory legal system towards the guilty.
In June , Saudi officials were accused of illegally transferring a Saudi student studying in the US, who was accused of killing a teenager in Oregon. The accused faced first-degree manslaughter - with a minimum sentence of 10 years - as well as hit-and-run, reckless endangerment and reckless driving charges in the US.
As per a report by BBC, Saudi authorities helped him obtain an illegal passport and fled him out of the States in a private plane. In June , Saudi officials informed the US that the student was in the kingdom from the past one year. Saudi Arabia has made bail for its nationals on several previous occasions as well, including for a man accused of rape in Utah in , who also fled, and in for a Missouri resident, who was accused but later acquitted of murdering a person.
In , the U. State Department stated that in Saudi Arabia "freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice" and that "government policies continued to place severe restrictions on religious freedom". According to Human Rights Watch, the Shia minority face systematic discrimination from the Saudi government in education, the justice system and especially religious freedom.
In March , the Saudi interior ministry issued a royal decree branding all atheists as terrorists, which defines terrorism as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based". Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries in the world where homosexual acts are not only illegal but punishable by execution.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. King and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh. Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. History of Saudi Arabia. Judiciary of Saudi Arabia. Politics of Saudi Arabia.
Why is dating illegal in Saudi Arabia? What is the punishment if one is caught dating? ?
Contract Law of Saudi Arabia. Foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. Human rights in Saudi Arabia. This article needs to be updated.
Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Women's rights in Saudi Arabia. Freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia. Blasphemy law in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi women can now drive - here are six other things they should be be allowed to do too
It is not necessary to place the hand on the Qur'an, although this is often done. See Hussain, Jamila Archived from the original on 5 January Retrieved 7 January Country Studies - Saudi Arabia". Comparative Studies in Freedom. Albert Shanker Institute and Freedom House. Archived from the original on 22 January Retrieved 13 February Encyclopaedia of the Muslim World.
A History of the Arab peoples. A Brief History of Saudi Arabia. Great powers and regional orders: The history of Saudi Arabia. Area handbook for Saudi Arabia.
War on sacred grounds. Saudi Arabia enters the 21st century. Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance. Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: The Wahhabi mission and Saudi Arabia.
Archived from the original on 25 July Retrieved 19 July American Bar Association , p. Archived PDF from the original on Islamic Commercial Law and Economic Development. Retrieved 17 February Archived PDF from the original on 18 June Saudi Arabia and its royal family. Shari'a Law in Commercial and Banking Arbitration.
Renewed Protests Defy Ban". Archived from the original on Islamic law and legal system: Crime and Punishment Around the World. Retrieved 20 May Archived from the original on 13 November Retrieved 12 November A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Saudi Arabia 3rd ed. Cruel, or just unusual? Archived from the original on 5 August Retrieved 14 July Learning a musical instrument at school The piano always looks good on a person's CV but if you want to learn as a child it has to be private tutorials.
Music lessons are forbidden in public forums and therefore, if you want to learn, it has to be done 'underground'.
Legal system of Saudi Arabia - Wikipedia
Going to the gym if you're a woman If you're worried about your muffin top as a woman you want to hope you've got a flight of stairs in your house to run up and down. Worshipping any religion other than Islam Believing in any other religion than Islam is frowned upon by Saudi Arabian officials. In fact, it's against the law for non-Muslims to worship in public - and you won't find a Church in the whole country. If anyone converts from Islam or abandons religion they face the death penalty.
Driving, only if you're a woman Fancy a drive as a woman? Sure thing - as long as it's in the desert or inside private compounds, you're all good. If you need to go anywhere else, however, you'll have to get a driver because women are banned from driving.