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Old 11-22-2007, 02:09 AM   #16
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Hi

This is shoking and need to stop as soon as possilbe early...
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:56 AM   #17
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Originally posted by AEON


Are you saying that we are not funding alternative energy sources? - Or that we are not funding them enough? And if were, then the mistreatment of Arab women would improve with the increased poverty?

I guess that's one way of tackling the issue...
1. Not funding them enough and encouraging their use.

2. No, but perhaps our "freedom" loving government and citizens would be more willing to openly criticize a government operating from the 17th century, rather than call it an ally.


What would be your solution?
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Old 11-22-2007, 11:43 AM   #18
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Women are treated terribly in Saudi Arabia. I read some books by Jean Sasson about a woman who told her story to try to tell the world about how women are treated in Saudi Arabia.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


1. Not funding them enough and encouraging their use.

2. No, but perhaps our "freedom" loving government and citizens would be more willing to openly criticize a government operating from the 17th century, rather than call it an ally.


What would be your solution?
Martha, I actually agree with you on both of your points. In addition, I would embargo Saudi oil if they did not improve the treatment of women (and funding terrorism). And when people oppose the embargo, I would point to the increased need of funding just-about-any-energy-source-that-is-not-Saudi-oil so that America does not have to sacrifice its ideals of 'Freedom' and 'Fair Treatment of All' in order to keep some shareholders of some companies perpetually wealthy.

However, I respectfully disagree with your assessment that Saudi Arabia's government is operating in the 17th century. When pondering whether we should bomb them into the Stone Age - I actually came to the conclusion last night that such action would actually advance their culture an époque or two.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:13 PM   #20
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Monotheistic theocracy sounds medieval to me.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:21 PM   #21
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Originally posted by AEON


Strange, I keep forgetting how peaceful and advanced the Middle East was before George W. was inaugurated.
No, not strange at all. You always hear exactly what you want to hear.

I meant it in the context of the US having lost any respect it may have had whereas the Middle East is concerned, due to the last 7 years. While the reputation in that area was never stellar, there were some bright spots and maybe slivers of hope. Now, all gone. And that's not just from the Arab POV, but on a worldwide scale - who the hell trusts the US to tackle a global crisis anymore? The remaining 26% who support Bush and maybe not even them.

I don't know if you're completely unable or unwilling to comprehend that there are serious repercussions from your mismanaged adventures abroad, but that doesn't make it any less so. And it's a large part of the reason that even if somebody in good faith wanted to change things in Saudi, they are really in no position to do so any longer. Which is sad.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:30 PM   #22
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Punish the victim because she violated God's law
Quote:
The Justice Ministry acknowledged in its statement Tuesday that the attorney is no longer on the case, saying he was punished by a disciplinary committee for lawyers because he “exhibited disrespectful behavior toward the court, objected to the rule of law and showed ignorance concerning court instructions and regulations.”

It added that the permanent committee of the Supreme Judicial Council recommended an increased sentence for the woman after further evidence against her came to light when she appealed her original sentence.

The judges of that committee also increased the sentences for the perpetrators based on the level of their involvement in the crime. Their sentences — which had been two to three years in prison — were increased to two to nine years, according to al-Lahim.

The ministry also said it welcomes constructive criticism and insisted that the parties’ rights were preserved in the judicial process.

“We would like to state that the system has ensured them the right to object to the ruling and to request an appeal,” the statement continued, “without resorting to sensationalism through the media that may not be fair or may not grant anyone any rights, and instead may negatively affect all the other parties involved in the case.”

The statement also described the progress of the woman’s case and explained that it was heard by a panel of three judges, not one judge “as mentioned in some media reports.”

It said the case was treated normally through regular court procedures, and that the woman, her male companion and the perpetrators of the crime all agreed in court to the sentences handed down. ...

White House homeland security adviser Frances Townsend, who announced her resignation Monday, called the case “absolutely reprehensible” but told CNN’s “American Morning” the Saudis deserve credit for their assistance in battling terrorism. “This case is separate and apart from that, and I just don’t think there’s any explaining it or justifying it,” she added.
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/11/20/saudi.rape.victim/index.html

But that last paragraph shows the reason that this administration cannot handle Islamic terrorism; it doesn't shine a harsh light into the chief financiers (but then again look at the secret BAE deal; it is hardly limited to America).
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram




I meant it in the context of the US having lost any respect it may have had whereas the Middle East is concerned, due to the last 7 years.
I may be wrong, but I'm fairly certain the U.S lost most of its international credibility in 1979. Canadians lost theirs when Gretzky came to L.A.

Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


I don't know if you're completely unable or unwilling to comprehend that there are serious repercussions from your mismanaged adventures abroad, but that doesn't make it any less so.
I haven't recently managed any adventures of any sort...abroad or domestic.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:55 PM   #24
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Re: Why no mention of Saudi rape victim???

Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
Unless I've missed it why has no one brought up this horrendous case of a woman sentenced to 6 months in jail and 200 lashes for BEING A VICTIM OF RAPE!!! Of all the controversial stories out there why has it not been posted (or has it). And to make it worse what about the Bush administrations reaction to this ......
"State Department spokesman Sean McCormack avoided directly criticizing the Saudi Judicary over the case " THIS IS PART OF A JUDICIAL PROCEDURE OVERSEAS IN THE COURT OF A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY" - This just goes to show what HYPOCRITES the Bush Administration really is ...here is a hardcore facist Muslim country charging a woman for being raped - you'd think it would be the perfect reason to turn up the heat on Islam but no, they say absolutley FUCK ALL!!! Instead they go after the oil. I always said we should of bombed those motherfuckers into the stone age instead of focusing on Saddam etc... Saudi Arabia Sucks!!!
goutrage!!

five minutes of rage.

not discounting the validity of your story or the merits for being upset, but i have absolutely no use for people constantly telling me how to feel and what to pay attention to.

goutrage indeed.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:36 AM   #25
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The heat doesn't need to be turned up on all of the Islamic world, just Wahhabist Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism is a fundamentalist brand of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia. It's not accepted by the rest of the Islamic world. Some books condemning Wahhabism have been published in Istanbul. I went to Turkey about a year and a half ago. People were drinking wine and beer, although some stores didn't sell alcohol. Islam in Turkey is very laid back and tolerant. So let's not condemn all of the Islamic world for something that's happening in Saudi Arabia.
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:39 PM   #26
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And now the defence gets it's commupence
Quote:
Saudi officials have revoked the license of human rights lawyer Abdul-Rahman al-Lahem, who has handled the country's most controversial cases and defended a gang-rape victim sentenced to jail time and lashes.

Lahem, 36, faces a disciplinary hearing Dec. 5 to determine the length of his suspension.

Lahem is accused by the prosecutor general of "belligerent behavior, talking to the media for the purpose of perturbing the judiciary, and hurting the country's image," according to an official letter he received Monday.

Since he started practicing law almost five years ago, Lahem has defended clients whom other lawyers refused, including a school administrator suspended for criticizing the religious establishment, a man convicted of promoting homosexuality for saying it was genetic, three political reformists seeking a constitutional monarchy, and the first Saudis suing the country's powerful religious police.

Lahem said that losing his license would be a blow to the country's budding human rights movement.

"If I am banned from practicing law, nobody will dare go up against the judiciary again," said Lahem, a slight man with a limp from a childhood accident. "If I win, it will open a new chapter for human rights in Saudi Arabia."

Lahem's license was revoked last week by the judiciary in the eastern town of Qatif, where his client, a 20-year-old woman, was being sentenced on a morals charge after she was gang-raped by seven men.

Lahem said he was banned from the courtroom for his refusal in September to allow his client to attend a hearing in which she would have come face to face with her rapists. "She tried to take her life several times after the rape, and I did not want her traumatized all over again," he said. The woman's name has not been published.

The Justice Ministry on Tuesday stood by its decision, saying Lahem was banned from the court for insulting the judiciary, opposing instructions and violating provisions of the law. It did not give details.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy that does not allow political parties or civic rights groups. The official Wahhabi religious establishment follows a strict interpretation of Islam that prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling and does not allow differing schools of thought. The country follows Islamic law, and many laws are not codified, giving judges wide latitude in sentencing.

King Abdullah, who took the throne in 2005, has promoted greater freedoms and has called for judicial reforms and opportunities for women. But the judiciary is supported by powerful half brothers of the king, and change has been slow and sporadic.

The order revoking Lahem's license also criticized his statements to reporters during one of his cases, in which the court forced a couple to divorce after the wife's half brothers complained that the husband was of a lower social status.

Lahem has had various run-ins with the authorities during his five-year career.

He has been banned from traveling outside the country since 2004, when he defended jailed political reformists calling for a constitutional monarchy. He was also imprisoned twice, for criticizing the arrest of the political reformists as illegal and for his vocal defense of clients who were political prisoners. He was pardoned when Abdullah granted an amnesty to political prisoners when he came to power.

Lahem's most recent client -- dubbed by local media as Girl of Qatif, her home town -- and a male acquaintance were sitting in a car last year when they were kidnapped by seven men and raped at knifepoint. The victims were originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being alone in the car, and the rapists were sentenced to between 10 months and five years in prison.

After Lahem appealed, seeking harsher sentences for the rapists and calling the ruling against his client unjust, a superior court increased the sentences of both victims to six months and 200 lashes. The rapists' sentences were nearly doubled.

According to the English-language daily Arab News, the court told the woman her punishment was increased because of "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media."

Though he was disappointed with the verdict, Lahem said, he realized as he was driving from Qatif back to Riyadh, where he is based, that its excess was actually a sign of hope.

"That verdict signals the death throes of the judiciary's old guard. They can see the end is near," he said. "As black as it looked for me . . . I saw that the overkill in that verdict was a sign of desperation."

Lahem does not expect his case to be resolved for at least two months and plans to spend that time writing. "I have been so busy with all these cases. Now I will have time to document the details of the last five years. They have changed the social and judicial history of Saudi Arabia."
link

The greatest case for switching to alternative energy sources is cutting the cash flow to these regimes.
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:56 PM   #27
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I have a great respect for Lahem after reading that article. I hope he continues to fight this as much as he possibly can. I'm glad that girl has somebody on her side over there.

Yeah, bombing the area back to the Stone Age definitely wouldn't be my preferred method of dealing with this-like verte said, let's not punish an entire area for the actions of a few idiots. But I wholeheartedly agree that the Bush administration HAS to start rethinking its priorities and who its allies are. Don't sit there and get all huffy over Saddam, only to turn around and not bat an eye at this.

That poor girl. I'm rooting for her, I hope that she's able to successfully fight this.

Angela
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:23 AM   #28
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ABC News.com

Exclusive: Saudi Rape Victim Tells Her Story
Victim to Receive Whipping and Jail for Being in Nonrelative's Car When Attacked
By LARA SETRAKIAN

Nov. 21, 2007 —

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice is defending a sentence of 200 lashes for the victim of a gang rape, punished because she was in the car of a male who wasn't a relative when the two were attacked.

In exclusive testimony obtained by ABC News, the young woman told her story of what happened and how she was treated in the months that followed.

"Everyone looks at me as if I'm wrong. I couldn't even continue my studies. I wanted to die. I tried to commit suicide twice," she said of her experience just after the attack.

The woman, known anonymously in the Saudi press as "Qatif Girl" for the eastern province town where the crime took place, was originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being in a state of "khalwa" -- retreat with a male who's not a relative.

But the General Court of Qatif increased the punishment to 200 lashes and six months in jail after she took her case to the press. Authorities deemed it an "attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," according to Saudi Arabia's English-language newspaper Arab News.

The seven attackers were convicted of rape with sentences that ranged from two to nine years in prison, according to Arab News.

In a December 2006 interview in Khobar, Saudi Arabia the woman gave a full account of her testimony to Human Rights Watch, describing the incident as she did before the court. She was meeting a male acquaintance, a former boyfriend, when the attack took place.

Ordeal Began With a Photo

"I [was] 19 years old. I had a relationship with someone on the phone. We were both 16. I had never seen him before. I just knew his voice. He started to threaten me, and I got afraid. He threatened to tell my family about the relationship. Because of the threats and fear, I agreed to give him a photo of myself," she recounted.

"A few months [later], I asked him for the photo back but he refused. I had gotten married to another man. He said, 'I'll give you the photo on the condition that you come out with me in my car.' I told him we could meet at a souk [market[ near my neighborhood city plaza in Qatif.

"He started to drive me home. We were 15 minutes from my house. I told him that I was afraid and that he should speed up. We were about to turn the corner to my house when they [another car] stopped right in front of our car. Two people got out of their car and stood on either side of our car. They man on my side had a knife. They tried to open our door. I told the individual with me not to open the door, but he did. He let them come in. I screamed.

"One of the men brought a knife to my throat. They told me not to speak. They pushed us to the back of the car and started driving. We drove a lot, but I didn't see anything since my head was forced down."

"They took us to an area & with lots of palm trees. No one was there. If you kill someone there, no one would know about it. They took out the man with me, and I stayed in the car. I was so afraid. They forced me out of the car. They pushed me really hard ... took me to a dark place. Then two men came in. They said, 'What are you going to do? Take off your abaya.' They forced my clothes off. The first man with the knife raped me. I was destroyed. If I tried to escape, I don't even know where I would go. I tried to force them off but I couldn't. [Another] man & came in and did the same thing to me. I didn't even feel anything after that.

"I spent two hours begging them to take me home. I told them that it was late and that my family would be asking about me. Then I saw a third man come into the room. There was a lot of violence. After the third man came in, a fourth came. He slapped me and tried to choke me.

"The fifth and sixth ones were the most abusive. After the seventh one, I couldn't feel my body anymore. I didn't know what to do. Then a very fat man came on top of me and I could no longer breathe.

"Then all seven came back and raped me again. Then they took me home. When I got out of the car, I couldn't even walk. I rang the doorbell and my mother opened the door. She said you look tired.' I didn't eat for one week after that, just water. I didn't tell anyone. I went to the hospital the next day.

"The criminals started talking about it [the rape] in my neighborhood. They thought my husband would divorce me. They wanted to ruin my reputation. Slowly my husband started to know what had happened. Four months later, we started a case. My family heard about the case. My brother hit me and tried to kill me."

Lawyer Punished Too

Along with the young woman's sentence, the General Court of Qatif confiscated the license of her attorney, Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, a lawyer known for taking on controversial cases that push back against Saudi Arabia's strictly interpreted system of sharia, or Islamic law.

"Asking me to appear in front of a disciplinary committee at the Ministry of Justice & is a punishment for taking human rights cases against some institutions," Al-Lahem told Arab News.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice said in this week's statement that Al-Lahem's "faulty behaviors & contradict the ethics of his profession and violate the provisions of practicing law and its executive code."

New York-based Human Rights Watch researcher Christoph Wilcke, who studies the Saudi legal system, said the woman would need a pardon from King Abdullah himself or from the provincial governor to be spared the lashings and jail time. The punishment will also be reviewed by the Supreme Judiciary Council, which will scrutinize the ruling, according to the Ministry of Justice.
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:55 AM   #29
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The Bush Administration doesn't want to upset the House of Saud because of its damn oil. Never mind that they shouldn't be supporting such a repressive regime.
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:02 PM   #30
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RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has pardoned the victim of a gang-rape whose sentencing to 200 lashes caused an international outcry, a Saudi newspaper said on Monday.

The daily al-Jazirah cited Justice Minister Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Sheikh as saying the king alone had the right to issue pardons if it was in the public interest.

The minister did not confirm if the pardon, reported from unnamed sources, had been issued but the newspaper is close to the religious establishment that controls the Justice Ministry.

The Saudi monarch usually issues pardons to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival which begins on Wednesday, but such announcements are published on the official Saudi Press Agency.

The 19-year-old Shi'ite woman was abducted and raped along with a male companion by seven men last year in a case that has drawn criticism from around the world.

Ruling according to Saudi Arabia's strict reading of Islamic law, a court sentenced the woman to 90 lashes for being alone with an unrelated man and the rapists to prison terms of up to five years.

The Supreme Judicial Council last month increased the sentence to 200 lashes and six months in prison and ordered the rapists to serve between two years and nine years in prison.

"The minister affirmed the integrity, justice and transparency of the legal system in the kingdom ... and that there is no cause to cast doubts about it," the paper said.

If confirmed, the pardon would represent a rare occasion where Saudi rulers have publicly challenged Saudi Arabia's hardline clerics, who have wide powers in society according to a traditional pact with the Saudi royal family.

Clerics of Wahhabi Islam dominate the justice system which King Abdullah said in October he wanted to reform.

The rape case has become a national embarrassment to Saudi Arabia, provoking soul-searching among columnists in the press about the country's international image.

President George W. Bush said earlier this month that King Abdullah "knows our position loud and clear" on the case, and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said last month he hoped the ruling would be changed.

Fawziya al-Oyouni, a women's rights activist, welcomed the report but said it was not enough. She said the family of the victim had not been informed officially of any pardon.

"We don't want to rely simply on pardons. We need harsher sentences for the guilty parties and we want to feel safe," she said, citing another rape case in the Eastern Province this month.
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