Originally Posted by segovius
Not so. I couldn't give a flying toss about the rapist's sentences being increased.
My comments are solely about the judgement(s) passed on the woman.
I find your statement "I have not made up my mind if the whole case was treated with justice or not"
to be highly disturbing.
You find it disturbing, but I find it's necessary to first get to know all the facts before passing a judgement. When I posted that, I didn't have the time to read up on the case.
Now I had the time and read up on it. Apparantely that is the case:
A shia woman that got just recentely married met with a highschool-friend in order to get a picture of herself back she once gave him.
While sitting in a car, seven men intercepted them, kidnapped and raped them.
According to Saudi-law there were three crimes occuring:
1. The private meeting between the woman and a former male highschool-friend.
2. The kidnapping.
3. The rapings.
The first crime was basically confessed by the woman, the second and third crimes were confessed by the seven men, but later recanted.
The punishment for rapists is usually death, if they are married, and if not, then 100 lashes and a possible banning-time.
Another difference is made when a gun or knife is used to force the victim or when the rapist threatens to kill the victim. In that case it is similar to an act of war. In that case the quran-verse:
The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter) (Al-Maidah 5:33)
I would say that because of the kidnapping and the amount of men that worked together in this criminal act, it definitely falls under this application.
So a correct islamic punishment for these rapists would be either death, crucification, cutting off one hand and one foot, or throwing them out of the country.
It can of course be argued that "throwing out of the country" can be equaled with prison-time, but then it would have to be lifelong emprisonment, since in the quran-verse there doesn't seem to be a room for return for these "war-mongerers".
So, the saudi-judges were too soft upon the rapists.
But what about the victims? She and her highschool-friend committed a crime, according to saudi-law by meeting with each other in seclusion, and lashes are the punishment for it there.
According to the Quran, espescially given the aisha-story, just meeting with the other sex, although discouraged, is not a crime nor sin in itself, so this seems to be a specific saudi-overreaction-preemption-ruling.
But it is in Saudi-Arabia as it is, and since she has initiated the meeting, she probably receives a higher punishment than her highschool-friend. Unfortunately the international press is concentrating on the fate of the woman, and leaves out the highschool-friend completely, eventhough he was raped, too, so I'm not sure what happens with him.
The question is should the meeting people be punished with lashes, when they were victims of a much worse crime? It can be argued that the rapings were already more than enough punishment for them and therefore should not be punished additionaly by the court.
I agree with that logic, but it seems the saudi judiciary is not thinking in these routes.
Another problem, besides not having mercy, is that saudi judges have complete discretion to form punishment-verdicts, so that one judge can issue a soft punishment while another comes to a harsh verdict, eventhough the cases are similar.
That is intransparent and injust.
Instead a commision should develop standard-punishment-verdicts for crimes, and the judges should be made to follow them and if they want to make softer verdicts or harsher verdicts, they should have to explicitly make the case for it in speech and writing, and of course be open to changes in appeal-courts.
Last but not least, we have the appeal-verdict that doubles the sentencing for the rapists and the victim(s), and prohibits the victim's lawyer to further work in his profession.
The reasoning they gave for the victim's doubled sentencing and the cancelling of the lawyer's license, was that they gave interviews in the media and tried to pressurise the appeal-judges to make verdicts in their favour.
I don't know if that is a crime in Saudi-Arabia or not, but even if it were there is no basis to punish the media-pressure-attempt through lashings.
If it were a crime, then the cancelling of the lawyer's license to profess his job, is justified, since the lawyer would know more than most other people that they are breaking the law.