In a chilling account, the Saudi woman who was first gang raped and then sentenced to 200 lashes (for being with a male non-family member) has given a full account of her ordeal. The woman’s story is an insight into the plight of woman in a country where they are restricted in their travel and subject to the harshest possible punishments.
The woman stated that she was being hounded by a man, who she knew largely over the telephone. Notably, the man was able to use the strict Saudi rules to coerce her into giving him a picture – threatening to tell her family and husband of their conversations.
When she tried to get the picture back, they were kidnapped and she was brutally beaten and gang raped. Notably the rapists then spread the story of the gang rape throughout her neighborhood. She had kept the attack secret. Once again, it is shocking to see a society where rapists can only speak of their crime — which is viewed as less serious than the fact that they caught a woman in a car with a non-family male.
After her family heard of the boasting of the gang rape, her brother’s reaction was to beat her and try to kill her.
While the Saudis and other such countries claim that woman are not mistreated under their laws, this case sharply contradicts the claims. This type of abuse exposes a deep and ugly cultural flaw vis-a-vis the status of women that shocks the world. It has cost the Saudis greatly and will undermine any future objections to the treatment of people in other countries. The mild reaction of the Bush Administration further undermines our own (dwindling) standing in the world.
In the meantime, where is the ABA on the punishment of her lawyer? Legal organizations throughout the world should be organizing to support both this victim and her lawyer in their struggle.
For her full story, click here