Saudi Arabia is country that is well known for its strict rules which specifically refer to women. To be more precise, woman must not go out by themselves and they should always be accompanied by a male person, mostly relative.
There is one example when young 19-year old girl despite the fact that was raped by a whole gang, still was sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months prison as she violated this law and went out without a male companion.
Another similar event occurred in 2006, where a girl went out to meet her high school male friend and while they were in a car seven male persons attacked them and raped her in a secluded area.
It is quite shocking that the girl was sentenced to 90 lashes as she was convicted of violating Saudi Arabia’s rigid Islamic Sharia law on segregation of the sexes. After that, The Saudi General Court doubled the prison sentences to both, the raped victim and the seven rapists. Namely, her verdict was increased as she had spoken out to the press which also is not acceptable in Saudi Arabia.
There are many countries that opposed to this prison sentences, and some of them are Canada, which described this case as “barbaric” and New York, which considers that with this verdict, the victims of sexual violence will not have the right to speak up or press charges against their rapists.
Spokesman of the U.S State Department, Sean Mc Cormach, stated: “I think when you look at the crime and the fact that now the victim is punished, I think that causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment. It is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it.”
However, Saudi judiciary did not change their verdict. Moreover, they went one step further and confiscated the license of the woman’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem.
The last summer, this case was referred back to the General Court by an Appeals Court who said that the verdict is really unfair for the girl and that it is too lenient for the seven rapists.