Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saudis defend rape victim's thrashing

[Sydney Morning Herald] 21 Nov 2007--Saudi Arabia has defended a court's decision to sentence a woman who was gang-raped to 200 lashes of the whip, after the United States described the verdict as "astonishing".

The 19-year-old Shi'ite woman from the town of Qatif in the Eastern Province and an unrelated male companion were abducted and raped by seven men in 2006.

Ruling according to Saudi Arabia's strict reading of Islamic law, a court had originally sentenced the woman to 90 lashes and the rapists to jail terms of between 10 months and five years.

It blamed the woman for being alone with an unrelated man.

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