Not a new case, but a new development: a Saudi woman, sentenced last year to 90 lashes for being raped, has just had her sentence increased to 200 lashes because her lawyer pissed the judge off.
A Saudi court on Tuesday more than doubled the number of lashes that a female rape victim was sentenced to last year after her lawyer appealed the original sentence. The decision, which many lawyers found shocking even by Saudi standards of justice, has provoked a rare public debate about the treatment of women here.
The victim’s lawyer, Abdulrahman al-Lahem, a well-known human rights activist, drew the court’s ire because of his strong public criticism of the handling of the case. He has called his client’s conviction unjust and said the sentences of the seven men who raped her were too lenient.
Wait, wait, let’s back up. How on Earth did someone rate punishment for being a victim? Well, that’s not quite it. She wasn’t sentenced for being raped, really; she was sentenced for having been alone in a car with a man, where the gang of rapists found them:
The young woman’s offense was in meeting a former boyfriend, whom she had asked to return pictures he had of her because she was about to marry another man. The couple was sitting in a car when a group of seven men kidnapped them and raped them both, lawyers in the case told Arab News, a Saudi newspaper.
The woman and the former boyfriend were originally sentenced to 90 lashes each for being together in private, while the attackers received sentences ranging from 10 months to five years in prison, and 80 to 1,000 lashes each.
OK, I get that in Saudi culture it’s not acceptable for unrelated men and women to be alone together. But, um... One might think that they’d consider the rape to be punishment enough, without having to add some torture sessions to it. And then her lawyer “drew the court’s ire”, so they more than double the torture? I’m having trouble writing this, I really am.
This is truly sickening.
Some liberal commentators said her sentence highlighted the justice system’s failure to treat women fairly.Ya think?
Now, we have to remember that the Saudis are our buddies, we’re very close, they’re our best friends in the war on terror. How is that, now?
Maybe we should ask “the Qatif girl” to tell us about terror.