Part one of this story can be found here. Our good friends the Saudis, champions of human rights continue to provide the sort of role model we can do without.
The AP is running a storyabout how the Saudis are defending their actions against a rape victim.
“The Shiite Muslim woman had initially been sentenced to 90 lashes after being convicted of violating Saudi Arabia’s rigid Islamic law requiring segregation of the sexes.
But in considering her appeal of the verdict, the Saudi General Court increased the punishment. It also roughly doubled prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping the woman, Saudi news media said last week.
The reports triggered an international outcry over the Saudis punishing the victim of a terrible crime.
But the Ministry of Justice stood by the verdict Tuesday, saying that “charges were proven” against the woman for having been in a car with a man who was not her relative.
The ministry implied the victim’s sentence was increased because she spoke out to the press. “For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows an appeal without resorting to the media,” said the statement, which was carried on the official Saudi Press Agency.”
Such compassion is heart warming is it not. CNN has additional informationin which we learn that the victim’s attorney had issues with the judge. Not to mention the victim’s husband who suggests that this was an isolated incident.
“If this sentence is based on the law then I would’ve welcomed it,” he said. “But it is harsh and the Saudi society I know and belong to is more sympathetic than that. I do not expect such harshness from Saudis, but rather compassion and support of the victim and her rights.”
Saudi society, he said, is “is very respectful to women in general.”
“If a woman raises her voice to a man in public, it would be very unusual for the man to respond or argue,” he said. “When a woman enters a bank for instance and there is no women’s section, all the men make way for the woman to go ahead of them and get her business first. I would think that putting seven men in jail for rape shouldn’t be difficult.”
Despite the treatment given his wife by the Saudi judicial system, he believes his society respects human rights and he is optimistic about the future.
“Through this case, as a citizen and stemming from my sense of security and patriotism, I believe in the future… And I have faith and trust in the system,” he said.
Sorry, I can’t buy into any of this. The Saudis are among the worst violators of human rights and common decency. It sickens me to see the U.S. lie in bed with them.