Thursday, February 5, 2009

Saudi Arabia: Boy Gets 350 Lashes for Rape Accusation

The Saudi Gazette is reporting that a boy who accused a teacher in his school of sodomizing him is going to be punished by being lashed 50 times as well as a jail term. The boy was 13 when the alleged sodomy occurred and is now 15. The boy is being punished for defamation because the accusation of sodomy was not confirmed.
ABHA – In the first of its kind sentence, a Shariah Court on Tuesday ordered a 15-year-old student be lashed 50 times in front of all students in an intermediate and secondary school in a village in Asir.
In addition, the student will also get 300 lashes and three months in prison for tarnishing the image of the school’s principal and teachers. The latter lashes will be administered at the correction home.
The court acquitted the principal and teachers of the school of the sodomy charge leveled against them by the student in his complaint two years ago. The student was instigated by a relative to lodge the complaint. Initially, the education officials cleared the principal and teachers of the charge, but the student and his relative filed a lawsuit against the principal (56 years) and four teachers who were detained along with seven students. All were later released except one teacher who remained in custody for about 180 days.
The General Court in Abha stopped pursuing the case after the defendant didn’t attend four sessions and the court’s verdict was approved by the Court of Cassation making it an irrevocable decision.
The teacher was released and transferred to the educational zone in Asir until the case was resolved. The teacher is intending to sue those who defamed him.
The principal, who retired last year, and three teachers filed a lawsuit against the student for defaming them. A judge at the General Court ordered imprisonment of the student who is now spending his jail term in the correction home.

Hat Tip Women Against Shariah


The Underground Pewster said...

I don't understand,

"The General Court in Abha stopped pursuing the case after the defendant didn’t attend four sessions"

of course who would understand such reasoning? Unless the report meant the boy was the defendant.

In the U.S. such a case would have been settled for millions if the boy was seen as a credible witness, or if additional victims came forth.

Perpetua said...

Hi Pewster,

Interesting catch. I didn't notice that. I had been thinking that the boy was the accuser, accusing the teacher, and that the boy failed to show up for the trial of the teacher. I would hardly think that the case against the teacher would be dropped because the teacher as the defendant failed to show. Now I am wondering if it is a translation error.

In the USA we are more concerned with catching pedophiles than with the reputation of those accused. In Saudi Arabia it seems to be the reverse. Certainly no one will come froward with accusations of having been sodomized at that school after witnessing the lashing of the boy. And the news of this will presumably chill the climate for reporting abuse way beyond the school as well.