Saudi Justice Ministry Upholds Rape Victim’s Sentence of 200 Lashings
The Saudi Arabia Justice Ministry on Saturday defended the sentencing of a rape victim to prison time and 200 lashings, despite international outrage. The case was under review following outcry by women’s rights and human rights groups, but the Saudi Justice Ministry confirmed on Saturday that the lashings will be carried out, reports Telegraph News.
The Saudi Justice Ministry maintains that the sentence is legal under Sharia law, claiming that the woman has confessed to committing adultery. The 19-year-old Shiite woman was in a car with a man she is not related to when she was abducted and raped by seven men, and the Justice Ministry claims she was having an affair with that man.
The woman’s original sentence of 90 lashes was more than doubled to 200 lashes and six months in prison by the Saudi appeals court because they claimed she was trying to use the media to influence them. Abdulrahman al-Lahem, the woman’s lawyer and well-known human rights activist, is facing a Justice Ministry disciplinary committee on Dec. 5 for appearing on television and publicly discussing the case. The Saudi court has also suspended his license to practice law.
Media Resources: Telegraph News 11/23/07, 11/26/07; Reuters 11/25/07; Feminist Daily News 11/19/07