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The BBC's Frank Gardner
"The Saudi's have rejected all criticism, saying no-one has the right to object to Islamic law"
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Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 21:57 GMT 22:57 UK
Britons face lash in Saudi Arabia
Saudi map
Four British men have been jailed and sentenced to lashes in Saudi Arabia for illegal alcohol trading, the Foreign Office has said.

Kelvin Hawkins was sentenced to 500 lashes and jailed for two-and-a-half years when he appeared in court in the capital Riyadh on 26 May.

Paul Moss was sentenced to 500 lashes and jailed for two years.

David Mornin was sentenced to 300 lashes, jailed for one year and fined 40,000 Riyals, about 7,400.


Our embassy visited the men last week and is seeking access to them again as soon as possible

Foreign Office
Another Briton, Ken Hartley was earlier sentenced to 300 lashes and two-and-a-half years.

The Foreign Office said the British Government had long held that corporal punishment was an "infringement of human rights".

A spokeswoman added that it was thought the sentences were subject to review and the men may appeal.

They may also ask for the lashes to be commuted in exchange for longer jail sentences.

Families contacted

"Our embassy visited the men last week and is seeking access to them again as soon as possible," she said.

"Our ambassador and his staff in Riyadh are in constant contact with the Saudi authorities at all levels about all these cases."

Alcohol trading is banned in Saudi under Islamic law.

The men were arrested in December last year.

The Foreign Office spokeswoman said the men's families had been contacted.

Mornin, originally from Greenock in Scotland, has lived in Saudi Arabia for the past 16 years.

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See also:

08 Feb 01 | Middle East
Getting a drink in Saudi Arabia
05 Feb 01 | Scotland
'Shock' at Saudi bomb arrests
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