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Saudi Court to Review Case of Rape Victim

The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister announced on Tuesday that the case of a rape victim who was sentenced to 200 lashes and prison time will be reviewed by the Saudi judiciary. The case has drawn international outrage over the harsh sentence handed to the 19 year old woman, who was abducted at knife-point and gang-raped, because she was in a car with a man she is not related to at the time of the attack.

The announcement is a change in direction from the Saudi Justice Ministrys Saturday announcement defending the sentence and claiming that the woman had confessed to adultery. The victim, who was recently married, states that she was meeting with a high school friend to retrieve a picture of herself, reports the Associated Press.

The Saudi court originally sentenced the woman to 90 lashes, but more than doubled it to 200 lashes and six months in prison when her lawyer appealed the case, claiming that she was trying to use the media to influence them. The appeals court also increased the rapists sentences, from one to five year prison terms to two and nine year prison terms.

Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 11/26/07; Associated Press 11/27/07; AFP 11/27/07