King Pardons Saudi Rape Victim, No Lashes
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has shown some mercy and granted a pardon to the victim of a gang rape who was sentenced to 200 lashes because she was in the company of a man other than her spouse at the time of the crime.
The rape took place a year and a half ago in Qatif, a small Shiite town in the Eastern Province, the center of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. The woman, who has been publicly identified only as the “Qatif girl,” said she met a former boyfriend to retrieve a photograph of herself. They were sitting in a car when seven men attacked, raping them both.
As I wrote here, the original sentence of 90 lashes was upped to 200 lashes after her lawyer complained to the media. Back to today's news:
Commenting on the pardon, the Saudi justice minister, Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheik, told Al Jazirah that the king fully supported the verdicts against the woman but had decided to pardon her because it was in the “interests of the people.”
“On one hand this tells people, ‘We support our system and we will punish you if you violate it,’” he said. “Yet he’s also showing mercy. Throughout, he’s making it clear that he is not disagreeing with the judge’s opinion on this sensitive issue of sexual chastity, but he believes that there is a higher interest to be served by the pardon, whether that’s relationships between Shiites and Sunnis, or international opinion.”
Thank you King Abdullah.
|< New Jersey Abolishes the Death Penalty | Interview With a Virginia Executioner >|