Saturday, 17 November 2007
While the great and the good were busy sucking up to the Saudi King Abdullah on his recent State Visit, no doubt salivating at the prospect of more arms sales to the regime, one wonders if they gave much if any thought to this:
A 19 year old Shia girl went to meet her former boyfriend to get any pictures he had of her, as she was due to marry someone else. (Note at this point that the Shia are a minority in Saudi Arabia.)
They were discussing the matter in a car when seven Sunni men kidnapped them both and gang raped them both - Her 14 times!
Naturally enough they complained to the authorities – big, big, mistake.
They were both tried under Sharia law for being unchaperoned and sentenced to 90 lashes.
She made the even bigger mistake of appealing - so the court upped her sentence to 200 lashes and sixty days behind bars.
Their lawyer, Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem, is facing disciplinary action. His comment:
“My client is the victim of this abhorrent crime. I believe her sentence contravenes the Islamic Sharia law and violates the pertinent international conventions,"
"The judicial bodies should have dealt with this girl as the victim rather than the culprit.
"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."
There is something deeply repulsive about a system that will do this and feel it justified.
Maybe a word in the right ear during that visit could have made this appalling miscarriage of justice go away - like the suggestion of anything untoward concerning certain commercial arrangements with the regime did - when they felt it might be ‘appropriate’.