17 November 2007

Some things make me really angry. This certainly does

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Words fail me. We are all too often reminded that our justice system has serious flaws (Barry George and Stefan Kiszko spring immediately to mind) but we would never see a sentence like this in the UK. A judge in Saudi Arabia has ordered a victim of gang rape to receive 200 lashes for being alone with a man who was not a relative after she appealed against the lenient sentences given to the men who attacked her. He also jailed her for six months.

The 21-year-old woman, who was 19 at the time of the attack and is known by the Saudi media as "the girl from Qatif", was raped 14 times by a gang of seven. Although her attackers were found guilty and sentenced to between 10 months and five years last year, she was simultaneously sentenced to 90 lashes as punishment for riding in a car with a man who was not a relative. By appealing against this decision, the judge ruled on Wednesday, she was attempting to "aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media".

At the appeal, the rapists' sentences were increased to between two and nine years. "Some Saudis agree with her being lashed for being with a male that wasn't a relative," said Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, international news editor at Jeddah-based Arab News, "but most feel that doubling her punishment on appeal was unfair. Among many level-headed Saudis, the consensus is: 'Come on, she's been raped multiple times. Hasn't she suffered enough?'"

Amnesty International condemned the sentence. "Human rights activists and lawyers worldwide have expressed shock and sympathy," said Lamri Chirouf, a researcher for Amnesty who specialises in the region. "There is still opportunity to appeal, and so we are mounting a campaign that we will address to the king. [The Saudi courts] have got the priorities completely wrong. They have to protect the victims, not punish them."

The victim's lawyer, a prominent human rights defender, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, was suspended from the case as a result of the appeal and his licence, granted to Saudi lawyers by the ministry of justice, has been revoked. "I explained to them that it was my job to do everything legal in order to serve my client. But they did not listen," he told Arab News. Lahem is known in Saudi Arabia for his work defending women's rights. He has taken on some of the country's most controversial and sensitive cases, often making the headlines.

Last year he defended a woman whose brothers forced her to divorce her husband after they accused him of lying about his tribal affiliation. This month he was due to represent a 50-year-old woman and her daughter who claim two undercover officials commandeered their car and drove them recklessly through Riyadh after accusing them of not conforming to customs of decency.

Lahem told Reuters: "The court blamed the girl for being alone with unrelated men, but it should have taken the humane view that it cannot be considered her fault." Lahem's critics have called him an infidel and "lawyer of homosexuals". In the past he has been jailed and banned from travelling abroad. He will appear before a disciplinary committee at the ministry of justice on December 5, charged with criticising the judiciary and conducting activist campaigns in the media.

Words fail me. I remember in the 80s being outraged a judge who accused a rape victim of contributory negligence for wearing a mini skirt (I do hope that God is a woman and is giving him a suitable punishment for such a statement). The sentence handed down to this Saudi woman is an affront to humanity. It is further proof that it is a nation run by misogynistic scum. Sadly there is no chance of regime change in that pariah state (or at least it should be) not when Gordon Brown sucks up to the king and talks about “shared values”. A boot in the King’s testicles would have been a more appropriate gesture


Agnes said...

And some praise this. Wymin will revolt AFTER. AFTER what I wonder, and definitely, 200 lashes too little a punishment for shitheads supporting this.

jams o donnell said...

Well lets face it Red some so called "revolutionaries" are just chauvinist fucks.

Do I get the feling that there is a Stalin and a Beria down Mexico way that may be the object of such a punishment????

Agnes said...

shared values means 50-50, i.e. 100 for Gordon Brown? If at that...

TorAa said...

I read that in our Norwegian paper to day.
I'm chocked

Anonymous said...

Meri and I hope to be naturalised shortly.
The behaviour of the BG - and the monarchy - is just one of the reasons.

jams o donnell said...

I shudder to think what he really meant by shared values. Certainly not this travesty, red

It is a disgrace Toraa. There is no accepting this.

Are you becoming Irish nationals Aileni? I'm glad I got my burgundy passport with a harp on it through my parents.

beakerkin said...

Here is the unpopular un PC take on the situation.

Women and Children are viewed as property under Islamic law. Many on the left feign ignorance about the Jim Crow elements of Sharia.

The status of non-muslims under Sharia is even worse. The notion of leftists railing about Jim Crow in its historic American context while ignoring it in a current context shows how bankrupt the far left is.

jams o donnell said...

Of course there is a lot of blindness towards the ugly side of islam Beakerkin. I could list some of the worst offenders - Respect springs to mind. However, it is far from being a universal position on the left Maryam Namazie, who is a fairly well known public figure in the UK, is a prime example of a leftist who takes a robust stance against Islamism