Man gets jail time and 200 lashes for tattooing women in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA — A Lebanese man nicknamed the “tattoo king” has been sentenced to one year in prison and 200 lashes in the conservative Muslim kingdom, a Saudi newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“Investigations revealed the Lebanese had been practicing this job for nine years,” said Al-Madina.

“At first, he used to receive women in a rented apartment (in the western city of Jeddah) but later he began going to women’s homes to draw tattoos on their bodies” to avoid being caught by Saudi religious police, said the daily.

He was finally nabbed by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (religious police) in an undercover operation.

“They seized with him a bag in which he carried creams for weight loss, breast firming and for skin whitening,” Al-Madina said. They also found on his mobile phone pictures of tattooed women.

Prosecutors said they would appeal for a stronger punishment against the man, who is also accused of having met privately with women in the Gulf state where mixing of the sexes is prohibited, said Al-Madina.

Tattooos are not in keeping with Islamic tradition but not officially banned.

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