USE ANNAPOLIS TO SAVE SAUDI RAPE VICTIM
Will the international community show as much guts as the 19 year old girl who was first rapped and then not sentenced to 200 lashes? Remember the Saudi minister of Justice arguing that the verdict is just?! He even hinted that it could be increased if she does not keep quite. But neither the girl nor her lawyer would not be intimidated. They told their story : to ABC.
"Everyone looks at me as if I'm wrong. I couldn't even continue my studies. I wanted to die. I tried to commit suicide twice," she said of her experience just after the attack.
The woman, known anonymously in the Saudi press as"Qatif Girl" for the eastern province town where the crime took place, was originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being in a state of"khalwa" -- retreat with a male who's not a relative.
But the General Court of Qatif increased the punishment to 200 lashes and six months in jail after she took her case to the press. Authorities deemed it an"attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," according to Saudi Arabia's English-language newspaper Arab News. . . .
Along with the young woman's sentence, the General Court of Qatif confiscated the license of her attorney, Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, a lawyer known for taking on controversial cases that push back against Saudi Arabia's strictly interpreted system of sharia, or Islamic law.
"Asking me to appear in front of a disciplinary committee at the Ministry of Justice … is a punishment for taking human rights cases against some institutions," Al-Lahem told Arab News. Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice said in this week's statement that Al-Lahem's"faulty behaviors … contradict the ethics of his profession and violate the provisions of practicing law and its executive code."
"I [was] 19 years old. I had a relationship with someone on the phone. We were both 16. I had never seen him before. I just knew his voice. He started to threaten me, and I got afraid. He threatened to tell my family about the relationship. Because of the threats and fear, I agreed to give him a photo of myself," she recounted.
"A few months [later], I asked him for the photo back but he refused. I had gotten married to another man. He said, 'I'll give you the photo on the condition that you come out with me in my car.' I told him we could meet at a souk [market[ near my neighborhood city plaza in Qatif.
"He started to drive me home. …We were 15 minutes from my house. I told him that I was afraid and that he should speed up. We were about to turn the corner to my house when they [another car] stopped right in front of our car. Two people got out of their car and stood on either side of our car. They man on my side had a knife. They tried to open our door. I told the individual with me not to open the door, but he did. He let them come in. I screamed.
"One of the men brought a knife to my throat. They told me not to speak. They pushed us to the back of the car and started driving. We drove a lot, but I didn't see anything since my head was forced down."
Keep reading. It does not get prettier. Most importantly, do not buy the idea of gentel lashing.See what 50 lashes look like after 20 days!
In Sudan the same type of Islamist justice is now about to administer 40 lashes to a naive British teacher for naming a Teddy bear Muhammad!
Where is the outrage? More specifically, where is the feminist outrage? Where is the media outrage? This story should lead the news every night! The Saudis are here supposedly to support the peace process (though without agreeing"to defile" themselves by shaking the hand of an Israeli infidel).
The Annapolis conference is bound to be a sham. Let's take advantage of it to save one Saudi girl and her lawyer. Maybe that much could be achieved. The Arab society is motivated by notions of honor, we are repeatedly told. So, Lets shame them> Already, the Saudi Foreign ministe tried to silence critics by promising a review. He is not to be trusted. The last review increased her punishment.
The king has the ability to pardon her and he should be pressured to do so pronto.
Now is the time for action. Feminists should demonstrate against the Saudis whereever they are and the media take advantage of any and every opportunity to raises the subject.
What can be lost? At the very least, world consciousness will be raised.
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