Rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail
A judge in Saudi Arabia has ordered a victim of gang rape to receive 200 lashes - more than double her original sentence for being alone with a man who was not a relative - after she appealed against the lenient sentences given to the men who attacked her. He also jailed her for six months.Such lovely people.
The 21-year-old woman, who was 19 at the time of the attack and is known by the Saudi media as "the girl from Qatif", was raped 14 times by a gang of seven. Although her attackers were found guilty and sentenced to between 10 months and five years last year, she was simultaneously sentenced to 90 lashes as punishment for riding in a car with a man who was not a relative.
By appealing against this decision, the judge ruled on Wednesday, she was attempting to "aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media".
At the appeal, the rapists' sentences were increased to between two and nine years.
"Some Saudis agree with her being lashed for being with a male that wasn't a relative," said Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, international news editor at Jeddah-based Arab News, "but most feel that doubling her punishment on appeal was unfair. Among many level-headed Saudis, the consensus is: 'Come on, she's been raped multiple times. Hasn't she suffered enough?'"
Amnesty International condemned the sentence. "Human rights activists and lawyers worldwide have expressed shock and sympathy," said Lamri Chirouf, a researcher for Amnesty who specialises in the region. "There is still opportunity to appeal, and so we are mounting a campaign that we will address to the king. [The Saudi courts] have got the priorities completely wrong. They have to protect the victims, not punish them."
Props where due to Amnesty International. This is an absolute travesty and an offense to the civilized world.
Of course, we dare not offend our friends, right?
Meanwhile, the oil ticks are trying to buy some street cred with the environmentalists. This ought to provide a convenient diversion.
RIYADH, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia will give $300 million for research into helping the environment by lowering emissions, its head of state King Abdullah said on Saturday.Expect to see al-Gore appearing there in the appropriate headdress before long.
"We will give $300 million for research into helping the environment," he said in a speech during a summit of OPEC heads of state which is taking place in the Saudi capital.