Monday, December 17, 2007

Saudi king pardons the Girl of Qatif , a rape victim

Saudi king pardons the Girl of Qatif , a rape victim

December 17, 2007

Following in the footsteps of the teddy bear once named Mohammed case (where UK teacher Gillin Gibbons was charged with inciting religious hatred and convicted of the less-serious charge of insulting Islam for letting her pupils name a teddy bear "Muhammad,"), now comes word from Saudi Arabia that the Girl of Qatif, a rape victim woman sentenced to prison and a public lashing after being gang-raped has been pardoned by the Saudi monarch.

“Human rights activist Fawziya Al-Oyoni, who is based in the Eastern Province, said that the king’s pardon brings some relief to women, but it doesn’t clear the rape victim from being blamed”, writes Ebtihal Mubarak in the Arab News article titled Abdullah Pardons ‘Qatif Girl’


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According to the AP’s Abdullah Shihri, “The woman, known only as "the Girl of Qatif," was convicted of violating Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic laws against mixing of the sexes because she was in a car with a man she was not related to when the seven men attacked and raped them both in 2006”.

The king’s pardoned was made official Monday when it was “.. published in the Al-Jazirah newspaper, which is deemed close to the royal family. But it did not appear in any other local media or the state-run news agency — in an apparent attempt to play down the case at home”, according to Shihri.

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