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Punishing Victims – Saudi Gang-Raped, Pregnant Woman Given Jail, 100 Lashes

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Since when is a rape victim suddenly a criminal? As if the raped woman isn’t subjected to enough humiliation, violence and degradation, in Saudi Arabia she is also often punished- twice- first by the rapist/s and then by the Saudi religious courts.

In this case (the 2nd that I know of) a 23-year-old Saudi woman who was gang-raped by a man and his 4 buddies near Jeddah, and became pregnant as a consequence of the rape, is to spend a year in jail and receive 100 lashes, after the baby is born, for adultery and trying to get an abortion at King Fahd Hospital. Even though she’s unmarried. How’s that for justice?!

Then we have the case back in 2006 of a 19-year-old girl who was forcefully kidnapped with a male companion, and gang raped by 7 men. The girl was initially sentenced to 90 lashes because she was accompanied by a male that wasn’t a relative. But when her story made headlines, the courts sentenced her to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail, for good measure. Nothing like teaching someone a lesson with a few extra lashes, for speaking out. And after all the negative press, the rapists got their sentences increased from 1 to 5 years to 2 to 9 years in jail. So the victim received a little less jail time than her rapists. And for standing up for his client’s rights, her lawyer had his license removed. How’s that for justice?!

What this effectively does is make women reluctant to report rapes, if they fear they might be sentenced to jail and beaten up. And I wonder if that’s why the 23-year-old didn’t come forth until she was pregnant, fearing she might be punished as the 19-year-old was. So much for protecting their women. It’s time to start educating Saudi men about respecting women, and rape convictions should be far less lenient. Perhaps that would be a deterrent.

How sad, that women continue to be treated like chattel and 2nd class citizens in the great Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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