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Saudi Rape Victim Sentenced To 200 Lashes & 6 Months In Jail Because She Appealed Rapists' Lenient Sentences


World  (tags: crimes against women, Saudi Arabia, corporal punishment, lashes, whipping, brutality, violence against women, rape, doubly victim )

LucyKalei
- 4175 days ago - guardian.co.uk
21-yr-old woman, 19 at time, known by Saudi media as "the girl from Qatif," was raped by gang of 7, to get 200 lashes - over 2X original sentence for being alone with man not a relative - after she appealed lenient sentences given to attackers.



   

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Comments

Patricia rommers (33)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 11:23 am
I am at a loss for words, it is barbaric to punish a woman for being a victim.
 

linda b (31)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 3:00 pm
Sadly, women in that area of the world have no rights. They're considered as nothing more than private property of Saudi men.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 17, 2007, 10:22 pm
You're right, Linda. When I was in Afghanistan females were not allowed to have bank accounts or own property because they were considered to BE property.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 12:36 am

If only I'd known before posting that Human Rights Watch had much better coverage of the Saudi Injustice system ! Well, better late than never, n'est-ce pas ? (right?)

Saudi Arabia: Rape Victim Punished for Speaking Out
Court Doubles Sentence for Victim, Bans Her Lawyer From the Case


(New York, November 17, 2007) – A court in Saudi Arabia doubled its sentence of lashings for a rape victim who had spoken out in public about her case and her efforts to seek justice, Human Rights Watch said today. The court also harassed her lawyer, banning him from the case and confiscating his professional license.

This verdict not only sends victims of sexual violence the message that they should not press charges, but in effect offers protection and impunity to the perpetrators.

Farida Deif, researcher in the women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch

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An official at the General Court of Qatif, which handed down the sentence on November 14, said the court had increased the woman’s sentence because of “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.” The court sentenced the rape victim to six months in prison and 200 lashes, more than double its October 2006 sentence after its earlier verdict was reviewed by Saudi Arabia’s highest court, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary.

Human Rights Watch called on King Abdullah to immediately void the verdict and drop all charges against the rape victim and to order the court to end its harassment of her lawyer.

“A courageous young woman faces lashing and prison for speaking out about her efforts to find justice,” said Farida Deif, researcher in the women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch. “This verdict not only sends victims of sexual violence the message that they should not press charges, but in effect offers protection and impunity to the perpetrators.”

The young woman, who is married, said she had met with a male acquaintance who had promised to give her back an old photograph of herself. After she met her acquaintance in his car in Qatif, a gang of seven men then attacked and raped both of them, multiple times. Despite the prosecution’s requests for the maximum penalty for the rapists, the Qatif court sentenced four of them to between one and five years in prison and between 80 and 1,000 lashes. They were convicted of kidnapping, apparently because prosecutors could not prove rape. The judges reportedly ignored evidence from a mobile phone video in which the attackers recorded the assault.

Moreover, the court in October 2006 also sentenced both the woman and man who had been raped to 90 lashes each for what it termed “illegal mingling.” Human Rights Watch is particularly concerned that the criminalization of any contact between unmarried individuals of the opposite sex in Saudi Arabia severely impedes the ability of rape victims to seek justice. A court may view a woman’s charge of rape as an admission of extramarital sexual relations (or “illegal mingling”) unless she can prove, by strict evidentiary standards, that this contact was legal and the intercourse was nonconsensual.

In an interview in December, the rape victim described to Human Rights Watch her treatment in court:


“At the first session, [the judges] said to me, ‘what kind of relationship did you have with this individual? Why did you leave the house? Do you know these men?’ They asked me to describe the situation. They used to yell at me. They were insulting. The judge refused to allow my husband in the room with me. One judge told me I was a liar because I didn’t remember the dates well. They kept saying, ‘Why did you leave the house? Why didn’t you tell your husband [where you were going]?’”

“Victims of sexual violence in Saudi Arabia face enormous obstacles in the criminal justice system,” said Deif. “Their interrogations and court hearings are more likely to compound the trauma of the original assault than provide justice.”

During the recent hearings, Judge al-Muhanna of the Qatif court also banned the woman’s lawyer, Abd al-Rahman al-Lahim, from the courtroom and from any future representations of her, without apparent reason. He also confiscated his lawyer’s identification card, which the Ministry of Justice issues. Al-Lahim faces a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry of Justice on December 5, where sanctions can include suspension for three years and disbarment.

Al-Lahim, who is Saudi Arabia’s best-known human rights lawyer, earlier this year had planned to take legal action against the Ministry of Justice for failing to provide him with a copy of the verdict against his client so that he could prepare an appeal. Despite numerous representations to the court and the ministry, he was not given a copy of the case file or the verdict.

“The decision to ban the rape victim’s lawyer from the case shows what little respect Saudi authorities have for the legal profession or the law in general,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

On October 3, King Abdullah announced a judicial reform, promising new specialized courts and training for judges and lawyers. There is currently no rule of law in Saudi Arabia, which does not have a written penal code. Judges do not follow procedural rules and issue arbitrary sentences that vary widely. Often, judges do not provide written verdicts, even in death penalty cases. Judges sometimes deny individuals their right to legal representation. In May 2006, a judge in Jeddah had thrown a lawyer out of his courtroom in a civil suit on the sole basis that he is of the Isma’ili faith, a branch of Shiism. Trials remain closed to the public.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 12:38 am

RIGHT ON, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH --- You are the BEST ! ! !
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 1:51 am
www.stophonourkillings.org
www.meydaan.org
1 out of every 10 men according to bbc interview believe women may be honour killed
shariah law is fraught weith horror
saudi arabia leaves even less recourse than iran
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 5:47 am

My god, is that possible !
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 7:49 am
The social and religious beliefs about women in these islamic country is beyond belief.........Seemingly women are no more than servants and baby makers to the men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plant life.......Plant trees......And, thank you too!!
 

Nuraini A (41)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 8:01 am
“At the first session, [the judges] said to me, ‘what kind of relationship did you have with this individual? Why did you leave the house? Do you know these men?’ They asked me to describe the situation. They used to yell at me. They were insulting. The judge refused to allow my husband in the room with me. One judge told me I was a liar because I didn’t remember the dates well. They kept saying, ‘Why did you leave the house? Why didn’t you tell your husband [where you were going]?"


well, that says it all. the judges weren't at all neutral. she was already convicted before they ever considered the evidence. disgusting.
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 9:39 am

Because in the very distorted mentality of these men, the woman is ALWAYS guilty. Don't you know that in Saudi Arabia and in Iran, women are considered guilty and responsible for the sexual reaction they arouse in men, even without provocative clothing, just because they are women.

When the mullahs prohibited Iranian girls from pursuing their univeristy studies it was because their voices, should they participate in a discussion or ask a question, were bound to arouse the male students. Clearly we have a case of a pathogenic society, where men are not taught to take responsibility for their own psychological and physiological reactions. It is the woman cast in the role of seducer who distracts the poor man and leads him up the garden path, so to speak. These men are freed of any responsibility for their masculine reactions, considered unholy and since the woman provokes this reaction, it is she the temptress, the seducer, the unholy being. This is collective pathology !
 

Anna Gradomska (144)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 10:29 am
Well said, Jill!
I hope that the countries that do their business with Saudi Arabia will express their concern in this horrible case of women's rights' violation and will demand justice for this girl! If we ignore this case and just continue making money with Saudi Arabia, we're worse than those narrow-minded judges. Because our countries are supposed to respect human rights even if it's bad for business.
 

Eduardo L (101)
Sunday November 18, 2007, 5:42 pm
Anna, Business people only care of profits. Not many of them have time on Care2. The major export of these countries are oil, that we need for our economic growth. Since many of them are so rich, they are potential consumers of our products. Economic sanctions do not apply, and our petitions may not work neither.
 

TERRY R (267)
Wednesday September 7, 2011, 10:12 am
WHIPPING AN INNOCENT WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED IS STRANGE JUSTICE.
 
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