A 74-year old British pensioner is due to receive 350 lashes after completing his one-year jail term in Saudi Arabia for illegally carrying alcohol in the ultraconservative Islamic kingdom. Karl Andree's family members claim that he could not survive the harsh punishment.
A grandfather of seven, the pensioner was sentenced to 12 months in jail by the Shariah Court after home-made wine was found in his car in Jeddah in August 2014. Post the year-long sentence, he was handed 350 lashes, which Saudi authorities plan to execute in public.
Andree's family members have appealed to the UK government to intervene, as they fear the lashing will kill him. "He is 74 years of age, has had cancer three times and his wife is dying in a home in the UK. He now needs medical care for his cancer and asthma, and there is no doubt in our mind that 350 lashes will kill him," Andree's younger son, Simon told the Sun.
Andree, an oil executive, has been living in Saudi Arabia -- where the possession and consumption of alcohol is illegal -- for nearly 25 years. The Foreign Office website of the country warns that Saudi Arabia, a highly conservative nation, imposes severe punishments and penalties on anyone in possession of alcohol.
Regarding Andree's situation, a Foreign Office spokesperson 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 Briton's children had been discreetly seeking the government to mediate Andree's release for more than four weeks, but decided to go public since there has been no development.