Saudi Prince Pardons Rape Victim:

The AP reports:

A woman sentenced to prison and a public lashing after being gang-raped has been pardoned by the Saudi monarch in a case that sparked an international outcry, including rare criticism from the United States, the kingdom's top ally. . . .

With the pardon, Abdullah appeared to be aiming to relieve the pressure from the United States without being seen to criticize Saudi Arabia's conservative Islamic legal system, a stronghold of powerful clerics of the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.

The announcement of Abdullah's pardon was published Monday on the front pages of Al-Jazirah newspaper, which is deemed close to the royal family. But it did not appear in any other local media or the state-run news agency _ in an apparent attempt to play down the case at home.

Justice Minister Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheik defended the courts, saying the pardon does not mean the king doubted the country's judges, but that he was acting in the "interests of the people." . . .

Amnesty International said the man who was raped received the same sentence as the woman. Al-Jazirah did not mention whether he had been pardoned as well.

The story does not report whether she received her pardon before or after she received the lashes to which she was sentenced.

UPDATE: A commenter notes the Saudi press reports the pardon occurred before any lashes were administered.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Saudi Prince Pardons Rape Victim:
  2. Where Are Islam's Silent Moderates?
  3. Justice, Saudi Style: