Friday, November 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton Condemns Saudi Gang Rape Sentence

According to BBC News, a 19-year-old Saudi woman, who is the victim of a gang rape, has had her sentence increased to 200 lashes and a six-month prison term.

The woman was travelling in a car with a male friend last year, when the car was attacked by a gang of seven men who raped both of them.

The rape victim was punished for violating Saudi Arabia's laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the car of a strange man. On appeal, the punishment was not reduced but increased to 200 lashes and a six-month prison sentence.

Hillary Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the US presidential elections, has condemned the sentence and urged President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against the woman. She said “As president I will once again make human rights an American priority around the world.”

- Shashi K. Raina, Toronto

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