Daily Revolt

December 17, 2007

Saudi King Pardons Teen Female Rape Victim Sentenced to 200 Lashes

You have to wonder how much influence King George had on the Saudi King. Dubya had to have told his Saudi friend that the publicity from the case was bad for business:
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has pardoned a female rape victim who had been sentenced to 200 lashes for being alone with a man at the time of the attack who was not related to her, a Saudi newspaper reported Monday.

The case had sparked international outcry. In a rare criticism of its Mideast ally, the White House had expressed its "astonishment" over the woman's sentence. Canada called it barbaric.

Saudi Justice Minister Abdullah bin Muhammed al-Sheik told al-Jazirah newspaper that the pardon does not mean the king doubted the country's judges, but instead acted in the "interests of the people."

"The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair," al-Jazirah quoted al-Sheik as saying.

The victim in the case, known only as the "Girl of Qatif" after her hometown in eastern Saudi Arabia, was in a car with a high school friend in 2006 when they were attacked and raped by seven men.

She initially was sentenced in November 2006 to several months in prison and 90 lashes for being alone in a car with a man with whom she was neither related nor married, a violation of the kingdom's strict segregation of the sexes.

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