AL MADINA (Saudi Arabia), AFP (France),LIBERTÉ ALGERIE (Algeria)
A Lebanese man was sentenced to a year in jail and 200 lashes in Saudi Arabia for having secretly drawn tattoos on women's bodies, according to a report that first appeared in the Saudi newspaper Al Madina.
According to the report cited by the Agence-France Press (AFP), the man denied wrongdoing, but authorities said they found a briefcase that included special tools for tattooing on women's breasts and removing stains on the skin. Saudi investigators said that the man, nicknamed the "tattoo king," may have been in business for as long as nine years.
The Egyptian website Ahram reports that the Lebanese was caught by the Saudi religious police in an undercover operation. Photos of tattooed women were also found on his phone.
According to the AFP, tattoos are not officially banned, but they are not in keeping with the Islamic tradition. On the Liberté Algérie website, one reader criticised the "Middle Age" laws of Saudi Arabia, while another insisted on the incompatibility between Islam and tattoos. However, the central accusation against the "tattoo king" was seeing Saudi women privately in their homes.