Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saudi Justice

Good to know that Saudi Arabia's king, who was welcomed with such pomp to these shores a short while ago, presides over such an impeccably even-handed justice system. Not only have the members of a seven-strong gang of rapists been sentenced to between one and five years in prison, but their victim, too, has been sentenced to six months and 200 lashes for being in a car with a man who was unrelated to her. Makes you proud to count Saudi Arabia amongst your allies, doesn't it?

The Al Jazeera story is here.

2 comments:

David Carnell said...

May I ask what you would propose instead?

I'm not attacking your sentiment, indeed this incident is just one more in the pantheon of Saudi human-rights abuses, many focusing on woman.

However, what do we do about it. No doubt FCO staff made soundings and what not but in reality there is little we can do.

I loathe the Saudi royal family as much as the next man but is the diplomatic cold shoulder the answer for this woman who is now in prison?

GM said...

Sadly, David, I think you're right (and I know you didn't hear that phrase much when you were here). The world of realpolitic means we can't be too choosy about our allies' domestic methods, a point the saintly Jimmy Carter found out to his cost. But I think we can still express our dismay at said domestic arrangements; or take a leaf out of Miliband Major's book and nip off to adopt a child in the USA when the king comes a visiting!