Saudi Arabia Today: A 19-Year-Old Rape Victim Convicted and Lashed
Saudi Arabia is a country where different laws apply to their citizens in comparison with the rest of the world. One of those is, a woman can’t go by herself anywhere, she needs to be accompanied by a male person, mostly relative.
This would be a strange law in the outside world, but here is very normal.
One example, shocked the world when a 19-year old girl was raped by a whole gang.Then she was sentenced to 6 months’ in prison and 200 lashes. Only because she went outside without a male companion.
Another shocking case occurred in 2006. A high school girl went to visit a friend from her school, while they were sitting in his car, a group of seven male persons attacked them and rape the girl.
Similarly, this girl was sentenced to 90 lashes because she violated the Islamic Sharia law. Her verdict was drastically increased because she spoke to the press and the outside media. This is strictly forbidden in Saudi Arabia.
Many countries consider this act barbaric and inhuman. Other than that, the victim of the sexual violence doesn’t have the right to speak up on the press or press charges against their rapists.
Sean Mc Cormach which is the spokesman of the U.S State Department, stated:
“I think when you look at the crime and the fact that now the victim is punished, I think that causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment.”
“It is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it.”
However, the judiciary of Saudi was outraged by this statement. They even confiscated the license of the woman’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem.
Finally, this case was referred back to the General Court by an Appeals Court. They stated that the verdict was unfair for the girl and that it is too lenient for the seven rapists.
Moreover, there are so many cases like this in this country where the victims are usually afraid to speak.
The U.S. government doesn’t want to do anything considering these cases.That is mainly because the oil relations they have and other secret agreements.