Saudi Arabian court recently handed down a sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 50,000 SAR to an Indonesian male Umrah pilgrim for being caught committing an indecent act while performing tawaf in front of the Kaabah in Masjid Al Haram, Makah.
The man with the initials MS was found guilty of sexually harassing a Lebanese pilgrim. The harassment occurred when the defendant and the victim were both doing tawaf at Masjid Al Haram on November 14, 2022.
Based on the facts revealed in court, it is known that the 26-year-old defendant was proven to have committed sexual harassment with the evidence of two eyewitnesses and direct confessions from the accused.
Two security officers around Hajar Aswad and Masjid Al Haram at the time of the incident, who were witnesses at the trial, explained that they saw MS hugging the victim from behind. CCTV footage also shows MS repeatedly pressing his body against the victim’s body from behind. The victim then screamed when MS put his hand on her chest.
At the time of the incident, the accused was said to be alone doing the tawaf and not with his entourage because he had done the tawaf for the umpteenth time.
Conversations among the companions of the Umrah congregation who discussed this case stated that the second and third tawaf should have been carried out on the 2nd or 3rd floor at that time. Still, the perpetrator chose to perform the tawaf on the 1st floor and jostled the female pilgrims.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that its nationals had been arrested for the sexual harassment case. The ministry said they are currently studying the case and had appointed lawyers for MS to take further legal steps.
The ministry added that the Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah had sent a protest note to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs for holding the trial of MS without giving notice and were only given access to meet MS on January 2 while the trial has been finished on December 20, 2022.