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Monday, August 10, 2009

Sex closes Saudi broadcaster

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has closed the Jeddah office of a Lebanon-based television network after it aired an interview with a Saudi man speaking about his sexual escapades, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

Mazen Abdul-Jawad, 32, was arrested last month in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after shocking Saudi Arabia, one of the most conservative countries in the world, by recounting details of his sexual exploits on Lebanese channel LBC.

The divorced father of four spoke to camera from his bedroom in Jeddah about how couples can spice up their sex lives.

“Everything happens in this room,” he said on an episode of the salacious show “Ahmar Bilkhat al-Areed” (Wide Red Lines), before launching into descriptions of foreplay techniques and tricks for cruising women on the streets of Jeddah.

A spokesman for the ministry of culture and information in Riyadh said a committee had decided to close the Jeddah office of LBC because of the interview.

The daily al-Watan newspaper said authorities also closed other offices of LBC, which is mainly owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, in the kingdom.

Abdul-Jawad has been charged with publicising vice and lawyers say he may face the death penalty.

Like many Arab countries, Saudi Arabia prohibits sexually explicit content on television and in newspapers, magazines and books.

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