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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 17:34 GMT
Your emails on the Saudi rape case
BBC News website readers have sent a huge number of emails about the story of a 19-year old woman who has been sentenced to 200 lashes in Saudi Arabia after being gang-raped. Here is a selection of them.

This is sad. This is completely against the Islamic Sharia laws. Very hypocritical decision.
Saif Uddin, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Being a Muslim, I think it's a big injustice done to the girl. If the court doubled the sentence of the girl then they should have given death penalty to the rapists. I think the court was influenced because the girl is a Shia and the rapists are Sunni. I myself am a Sunni, but any rapist should be hanged 'til death.
Asfandyar, Jeddah, KSA

I support the imposition of this penalty. We should be very much strict on our customs and that those who breach them should be severely punished. Well done.
Msuza, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The public is with the defendant... Please [don't] make this a sectarian issue as it's not. It's an issue of corrupt justice which affects every citizen of Saudi Arabia regardless of their race, gender or sect.
Mansoor Ansari, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

My office is next to Qatif. This reaction has been brought about because the poor girl tried to use the media to influence the judges' decision on appeal. Unfortunately this is another case of the Sunni/Shia [divide] that exists in Saudi. The vast majority of the country is Sunni, with only a few villages being Shia, Qatif being one of them.
Ross Fender, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

We should consider this problem without mentioning Shia or Sunni, because this has nothing to do with what happened.
Mahmoud Ahmed, Riyadh

This judgment is unjust, and how is it that a lawyer is being disciplined for doing his job? The Saudis are very simple and generous people. This action is a little out of the ordinary. Intervention from the Royal Family should take place.
David Schlitsky, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

I read the story over and over again just to understand if indeed the victim of a heinous crime such as rape is the one getting 200 lashes and a six-month jail sentence. It is, and I am still baffled at this kind of cruel justice.
D. Wind, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa

It is repulsive to see how a young woman can get punished for being the victim of a gang-rape attack. She needs sympathy, help and support to rebuild her life after what she has been through - as you would expect in civilised societies - not lashes and six months in prison. Why does the British government continue to associate itself with this nation of uncivilised criminals who treat their women in such barbaric and unjust ways?
Andy, Surrey, UK

I find this both unbelievable and incomprehensible, in any culture. The poor girl gets punished for being gang-raped. Just how sick is the Saudi judicial system? And we do business with this country? In the 21st Century there still seem to be those non-democratic countries living by 10th-Century rules.
James, Dundee, Angus

Could someone please refresh my memory - what did [UK Prime Minister] Gordon Brown say the other week about Britain and Saudi Arabia's shared interests and values?
Robert M Wood, London

This is outrageous. I have rarely been so horrified by a story. How much do our government need to be paid to stay quiet on this one? There is political respect and there is natural injustice. It's not a difficult choice in this case.
Chris, London, England

Where is the condemnation of this sentence by the British and US governments? Oh wait, I forgot, these savages are our "allies" in the "war on terror" - wouldn't want to upset that apple cart would we?
Nigel Pond, USA

I feel sick. That's not justice, it's obscene and the judges should be flogged.
Justine, Bermuda

This is absolutely deplorable. This is everything that is wrong with radicals across the globe. Protection of the culprits and further victimization of a rape victim are by no means norms or exceptions in Islamic or non-Islamic judicial circles. But it is very much a common practice by frustrated, self-righteous upholders of radical behaviour. Shame on them!
Qasim Saddique, Lahore, Pakistan

These people are barbarians. To think that BAE is equipping them with even more efficient ways of killing beggars belief.
Chris Pannell, Orlando USA

Punishment to the girl is against principles of justice. State-controlled verdicts reflects negatively on Islam. It is time the kingdom moves to democracy as is being practised in West.
Tariq Hussain, Karachi, Pakistan

Clearly, in many criminal events there are no clear-cut victims and criminals, quite often both sides are guilty. Saudi law clearly criminalises unchaperoned one-on-one contact, as a public safety measure, designed to prevent the occurrence of exactly this kind of situation. Saudi Arabia must be congratulated for their low crime rate. Scurrilous attacks on the judiciary such as the one committed by the alleged victim are deserving of punishment.
Mike, Sacramento, USA

Wow! This country is still living in the Stone Age.
Joshua, USA

It is amazing that a country with such an absurd legal system and traditions is considered as a close ally of the West in the fight against fundamentalism and radicalism. Had this happened in Iran, I guess the reactions would have been deafening, but for some reason Saudi Arabia always seems to get away with it.
Teni, Tirana, Albania

I think that when Westerners read stories like this, they think that this is a "religious situation" and the tendency would be to blame the Muslim faith. As a Christian I want to make it clear that most of these laws in Saudi Arabia are not based on religion. They are a long tradition of how the country operates. It is a shame that women all over the world not just in the Middle East continue to be seen as objects.
Ana Martinez, Los Angeles, CA

I think this story is not new here in the Arab world, especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I encourage the Arab women's rights organisations to try to convince the rulers in Saudi Arabia to alter some laws that obviously limit women's simplest rights. I hope this story helps others understand to what extent human rights in the Arab world are being demolished!
Antoun Hajj, Tripoli-Lebanon



SEE ALSO
Saudi women challenge driving ban
18 Sep 07 |  Middle East
Who's who: Senior Saudis
30 Oct 07 |  Middle East
Religious police: Saudi readers' views
30 Jul 07 |  Have Your Say
Country profile: Saudi Arabia
11 Oct 07 |  Country profiles

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