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IMMIGRATION TIPS

75 years old UK man to receive 360 lashes in Saudi Arabia for transporting home made wine

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A UK pensioner caught with homemade wine in Saudi Arabia could receive 360 lashes – a punishment his family say would kill him.

Karl Andree, 74, has already spent more than a year in prison since being arrested by Saudi religious police.

His daughter Kirsten Piroth told the BBC her father – who has suffered from three types of cancer – “would not survive” the punishment lashes.

The Foreign Office said it was “seeking his release as soon as possible”.

Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia and Mrs Piroth said her father was transporting homemade wine in his car in August 2014 when he was pulled over and arrested.
‘Not very well’

Mr Andree’s one-year prison sentence is now complete and Mrs Piroth said her family had been “led to believe” the lashes would not be given due to her father’s age and health.

But she said there now “seems to be some question mark” over that.

“He’s an old man, he’s 74, he’s survived three types of cancer with very strong cancer treatments, he’s asthmatic, he has gout – he’s not very well,” she said.

“He’s got a great spirit but his bodily health is not great and I just feel like he received his sentence and he did his time and I just want him home now.”

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Image copyright Kirsten Piroth
Image caption Mrs Piroth said her father had a range of health problems

She said time was “of the essence” due to her father’s age, adding that he had “paid for what he did” in Saudi Arabia and should now be released.

Asked if she was happy with the help given by UK authorities, she said: “I don’t really understand why it’s taking so long because it’s my understanding in that system that it needs… a phone call to the right person and he could be released.”

Mr Andree’s son Simon told the BBC his father had “enjoyed living in Saudi Arabia for 25 years and has been very happy there”.

He said he understood the laws and regretted what had happened.

“But he should be released,” he said. “My mother has dementia and is deteriorating quite rapidly and my father really wants to come back and see her.”
‘Severe’ punishments

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Our embassy staff are continuing to assist Mr Andree, including regular visits to check on his welfare, and frequent contact with his lawyer and family.

“Ministers and senior officials have raised Mr Andree’s case with the Saudi government and we are actively seeking his release as soon as possible.”

The Foreign Office website warns that penalties for possessing alcohol in Saudi Arabia are “severe”.

It also warns of Saudi laws against women driving, adultery, homosexuality and drug smuggling – with the last punishable by death.

Last month Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to press Saudi authorities to reduce the sentence of a protester sentenced to death in the country.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s Times reports a disagreement in the UK cabinet over a £5.9m deal to provide “training-needs analysis” to the Saudi penal system.

According to the newspaper, Justice Secretary Michael Gove wants to “pull out of the agreement” because he believes the government should not assist a regime that uses beheading, stoning, crucifixion and lashing as punishments.

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About Ayotunde Aboderin

A professional blogger, an online Journalist and a passionate Immigration and visa Affairs individual.

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