Saudi Arabia to Punish Survivor of Gang Rape with 200 Lashes and Prison Term
This post, written by Melissa McEwan, originally appeared on Shakesville
Yes, you read that right. A woman who was raped by six armed men is being punished by our BFF Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia. Huzzah for our awesome ally!
The 19-year-old Shiite woman was originally sentenced to receive 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape,” but after the woman had the unmitigated temerity of not unquestioningly submitting to being tortured as punishment for “getting herself raped,” judges on Saudi Arabia’s Higher Judicial Council more than doubled her punishment for “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.”
Her lawyer, human rights activist Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, has been banned by the court from further working on her case, had his law license revoked, and been “summoned by the ministry of justice to appear before a disciplinary committee in December” after he appealed the original verdict–not only because his client was sentenced to receive lashes, but because her Sunni rapists were sentenced to shockingly paltry sentences of one to five years.
On appeal, the court increased their sentences to two to nine years. And they gave the women they raped 110 more lashes and a prison term.
This case is so horrendous, it makes any commentary about victim-blaming superfluous. If you don’t get why it’s heinous, I don’t think anything I could say will convince you.
I will, however, note this: That’s terrorism, plain and simple. When women are tortured in this way, it a threat to other women that they, too, will be tortured if they get the idea in their pretty little heads to vigorously pursue justice after being raped. They are being terrified so they will keep silent.
This is being done by one of our “allies.”
But don’t expect President George “W stands for Women” Bush to give a flying shit about this brand of terrorism in Saudi Arabia when he doesn’t even care about misogynist terrorism in America.
Melissa McEwan writes and edits the blog Shakespeare’s Sister.