This 19-Year-old Gang Rape Victim Received 200 Lashes & 6 Months in Jail in Saudi Arabia

A Saudi Arabian woman must be accompanied by a male guardian — typically relative — at all times in public. The rape victim violated this law by meeting a friend to retrieve a picture.


By, The Clarion Project, Jennifer L. Kopp

A 19-year-old gang rape victim was sentenced to 200 lashes and to six months in jail for the crime of indecency and speaking to the press.

Saudi Arabia defended a controversial verdict sentencing a 19-year-old gang rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in jail. The Shi’ite Muslim woman had initially been sentenced to 90 lashes after being convicted of violating Saudi Arabia’s rigid Islamic Sharia law on segregation of the sexes.

The decision handed down by the Saudi General Court more than doubled her sentence last week. The court also roughly doubled the prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping her, Saudi media said.

The upholding of a decision to punish the victim triggered international outcry.

Canada said it would complain to Saudi authorities about the sentence, described as “barbaric”’ by Jose Verger, the Canadian minister responsible for the status of women.

The New York based Human Rights Watch said the verdict “not only sends victims of sexual violence the message that they should not press charges, but in effect offers protection and impunity to the perpetrators.”

While not directly criticizing the Saudi Arabia’s judiciary, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, “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, the Saudi judiciary stood by its decision. “The Ministry of Justice welcomes constructive criticism, away from emotions,” it said in a statement.

The statement also said that the “charges were proven” against the woman for having been in a car with a strange male, and repeated criticism of her lawyer for talking “defiantly” about the judicial system, saying “it has shown ignorance.”

The woman’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, reached out to the media. The court has since banned him from further defending the woman, confiscating his license and summoning him to a disciplinary hearing later this month.

The justice ministry implied the victim’s sentence was increased because she had spoken out to the press. “For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows to appeal without resorting to the media,” said the statement carried on the official Saudi Press Agency.

The rape took place in 2006. The victim said it occurred as she tried to retrieve her picture from a male high school student she used to know.

While in a car with the student, two men got into the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area. She said she was raped there by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend.

The case was referred back to the General Court by an appeals court last summer, after the woman’s lawyer contested the initial verdict, saying it was too lenient for the rapists and unjust for the victim.

Editorial Footnote:  It was just brought to my attention that the male friend of the female in this occurrence was also raped and he received the same punishment as she did.

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  1. To clarify the story this women was in love with some one which she gave him her nude pictures before marriage that girl marriage and later her ex boyfriend threatened her and told her to go out with him, the girl did and while she was out with him a karam happen another 7 rapists took the car and raped both of them the girl with her boyfriend, so the Saudi court gave 200 lashes and to six months in jail for the girl and her boyfriend for their first crime that is and 7 rapes get their own punishments as rapes but still even the girl was raped along with her boyfriend she did cheat on her husband and that’s her punishment 200 lashes and to six months in jail.
    and I’m with The Ministry of Justice hes was right and fair.

    • What a twisted country. They were both raped??. The man and the woman??. And you said that what happened to them was correct??. Her husband could have just divorced her. He probably has 4 wives anyway and 100 years of age. There is no justification for what has happened by the 7 sick individuals who got pleasure out of raping not only the woman but raping the man??? So homosexuality is allowed??. Who let such a twisted backward country be a part of the UN’s womens rights council. Money buys anything.

    • rape is rape you ” donggoi ” . It is a CRIME!!! Has your your wise leaders ever thought about those 7 rapists who had ” ULAWFUL” sex on the poor girl. Why aren’t they being stoned to death? Or are your laws one sided only and women are merely the equivalent of Camels..?

  2. That does not give the right to punish the victims.The rapists should have had their sentences tripled.It is ok for a male to commit adultery in Saudi Arabia,but not a woman?The woman was in all probability sold into her marriage anyway,so where is the justice in your sentencing.Then you muslims enquire why your religion and beliefs stink,yes stink.You are still living in the dark ages.Your sky high buildings mean nothing your wealth means nothing,you are inhuman.

  3. disgusting behavior from the Saudis to not punish the rapists. Who cares if a woman wears a sexy bikini in public or cheats on whoever in public, NOBODY has the right to harm anybody!!

  4. Ok most of us feel the need out of compassion for victims to chastise. In United States there is terrible things that happen every day. Just because it’s Saudi Arabia does not mean that they are more barbaric. They have culture and laws in place. She broke the law and would have received same punishment whether rape occurred or not. I am pleased her rapist were caught and received their punishment. Many countries should have laws against animal Abuse and Human Abuse.


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