Saudis to review rape victim's sentence?

AP/Houston Chronicle:

A Saudi court will review the case of a teenage gang rape victim sentenced to jail and flogging after she was convicted of violating the country's strict sex segregation laws, the foreign minister said Tuesday.

The remarks by Prince Saud al-Faisal, made in the United States and carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, were the latest in response to a salvo of international condemnation of Saudi judicial authorities' handling of the case.

It was also a sharp turn from a statement Saturday in which the Saudi Justice Ministry condemned the 19-year-old woman — raped by seven men and then sentenced to six months prison and 200 lashes — as an adulteress who had allegedly confessed to cheating on her husband.

In the statement, the ministry said the flogging sentence would be carried out and condemned foreign interference.

On Tuesday, SPA quoted al-Faisal as saying "the Saudi judiciary will review the case."

But al-Faisal was also on the defensive. "What is outraging about this case is that it is being used against the Saudi government and people," he said, speaking in Annapolis, Md., where he was attending the Mideast peace conference.

...

Al-Faisal's statement is not encouraged. He is more outraged about the outrage than he is about the sentence of the victim. While in the US the Saudis might be called tone deaf, the problem is really the idiocy of Shari'a law, which the victim is alleged to have violated. Muslims tend to see women as seductresses who can drive a man to rape by their very presence or by revealing their hair. It is this culture that is responsible for the ridiculous sentence as well as the Shari'a legal code.

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