Thursday, November 29, 2007

Saudi judges insulted gang rape victim: HRW

Khaleej Times, November 29, 2007

LONDON - A Saudi gang rape victim who was sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes was scolded by judges while police repeatedly dismissed her claims, she said in testimony published on Thursday.

The 19-year-old girl described the rape itself — including the fact that one of her attackers photographed her — and her struggle to eat or sleep in its immediate aftermath to the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).

She was attacked at knifepoint by seven men after she was found in a car with a male companion who was not a relative, in breach of strict Saudi law, and was initially sentenced last year to 90 lashes for being with the man.

Following her appeal, the court ordered her punishment should be increased to the current sentence, a decision which has attracted wide international condemnation from human rights groups to the White House.

According to the testimony published in Britain’s The Independent newspaper, once the girl’s husband found out about the gang rape, he told the police and appealed for the rapists to be arrested, to which a police officer said: “You go find them and investigate.”

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