Monday, December 17, 2007

Mercy shown to rape victim

This from Al Jazeera News. I am pleasantly surprised and I applaud the King for doing this and it took some courage on his part to do so given the timbre of the times in the Middle East and the resurgence of Fundamentalist Islam.

Kudos, King Abdullah, you have shown the true mercy to be found in the Qu'ran.

Royal pardon for Saudi rape victim

(Al Jazeera)

A teenage gang-rape victim in Saudi Arabia, sentenced to 200 lashes and a jail term for being alone with a man unrelated to her, has been pardoned by King Abdullah.

A Saudi newspaper reported on Monday that the 19-year-old's sentence and a six-month jail term had been quashed.

Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheik, the Saudi justice minister, told al-Jazirah newspaper that the pardon does not mean the king doubted the country's judges, but instead acted in the "interests of the people".

The girl's sentencing had triggered international outrage.

"The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair."

The girl and a man were in a car when they were kidnapped and raped at knifepoint by seven men in 2006.

The girl, who was 18 at the time of the rape, was originally sentenced to 90 lashes in October 2006 for being alone with the man - which is against the Saudi's strict interpretation of Islamic law.

The rapists were sentenced to between one and five years.

The Supreme Judicial Council increased the girl's sentence to 200 lashes and six months in jail last month after she appealed, saying she had attempted "to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media".

The rapists also had their sentences increased to between two and nine years in November.