The Saudi government is attempting to dampen the international outrage over a sentence of 200 lashes and six months in prison for a rape victim. The U.S. government issues a statement that expressed barely concern.
The 19-year-old and an unrelated man were abducted from a car and she was raped by a group of seven men. Her attorney Abdulrahman al-Lahim earned the ire of the court when he went public with the news that she was given a sentence of 90 lashes in October 2006. The Qatif General Court in response increased the punishment to 200 lashes and six months in prison by the Qatif General Court for speaking with the press. Al-Lahims’ license was revoked.
Now the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir is insisting that the case is working through the system and that there are some undisclosed facts that led to the increase in sentence. One can only wonder what facts would justify flogging a rape victim. Notably, the Saudi government had no criticism of the judges who handed down this sentence.
What is equally unnerving is the mild reaction of the United States government to this insult to the rule of law. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said U.S. officials had “expressed our astonishment” at the sentence. Wow, now there is a strong statement after a rape victim is gang raped and then sentenced to flogging. For the full story, click here