The victim of a violent gang rape has been sentenced by a Saudi Arabian for being out without a male companion and protesting against her punishment.
A Saudi Arabian woman has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months imprisonment for speaking to the press and indecency after she was gang raped by seven men.
According to reports, the 19 year old victim, violated the Sharia Law, which state that a Saudi Arabian woman must be accompanied by a male guardian at all times in public.
While in a car with a student friend, retrieving a picture, two men got into the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area. She said she was raped there by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend, Brietbart report.
The Shi’ite Muslim woman had initially been sentenced to 90 lashes after being convicted of violating the Kingdom’s religious diktats on segregation of the sexes, where woman are treated as second class citizens.
After the sentences were handed down following the rape in 2006, which included lenient custodial sentences for the men guilty of the violent crime, the woman’s lawyer appealed to the Saudi General Court.
But instead of choosing to overturn the punishments for being the victim of a crime, the court more than doubled her sentence. At the same time, they also roughly doubled the prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping her, according to Saudi news outlets.
Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, who defended the woman, reached out to the media after the sentences were handed down. The court has since banned him from further defending the woman, confiscating his license and summoning him to a disciplinary hearing later this month.
Saudi Arabia defended the controversial decision to punish the victim, saying that she was at fault for being out without a male friend, something which was met with international outcry.
“The Ministry of Justice welcomes constructive criticism, away from emotions,” it said in a statement.
The statement also said that the “charges were proven” against the woman for having been in a car with a strange male, and repeated criticism of her lawyer for talking “defiantly” about the judicial system, saying “it has shown ignorance.” They also added that the sentence was increased because the victim had spoken to the media.
“For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows to appeal without resorting to the media,” a statement on the official Saudi Press Agency said.