Friday, November 23, 2007

Rape in Saudi Arabia

The Largest Minority has a report about a rape in Saudi Arabia. From what is said, this woman met a man she knew, to return a picture, then both were attacked and raped by a group of men. Some of the men were sentenced to a few years in prison and several hundred lashes. But the woman and her friend were also sentenced to lashes. After she spoke out about her case, she was sentenced to more lashes and some time in jail. Her lawyer is also having problems.

Disclaimer: First let me state that I do not agree with what is happening to this woman, but I will try to explain it. I just don't want anyone to think that that means I in any way support what is going on. I just know if I don't specify that I'll probably get e-mails accusing me of supporting it.

Analysis: In Saudi Arabia it is illegal for the opposite sexes to mingle. When a woman goes out in public she must be escorted by a male relative. So when this woman met a friend, who happened to be male, technically she was breaking the law. Here's a theoretical example for the USA (and no, I am not saying these 2 cases are equal): if a woman and a man were trespassing on someone's land, and happened to be raped by other trespassers, there's a chance they would still be prosecuted for trespassing. Now, in the US, the landowner would really be pressured not to prosecute someone who had been raped. But in Saudi Arabia, they take mingling seriously. So the woman and man were prosecuted for breaking the law. The extra time and lashes tacked on afterward, though, seem to be an attempt to get her to shut up and take her punishment.
So does the harassment of her lawyer.

No comments: