Briton could face lashes over Saudi wine

London, Oct 13 (IANS) A British pensioner caught with homemade wine in Saudi Arabia could receive 360 lashes – a punishment his family said would kill him, a media report said on Tuesday.

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.

“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.”

Alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia and Piroth said her father was transporting homemade wine in his car in August 2014 when he was pulled over and arrested.

The foreign office said it was “seeking his release as soon as possible”.

“Our embassy staff are continuing to assist Andree, including regular visits to check on his welfare, and frequent contact with his lawyer and family,” a foreign office spokesman said.

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

The 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.

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