WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MAS Freedom (MASF), as
the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society
(MAS), in response to what is clearly a gross and cruel miscarriage of true
justice, expressed both outrage and intense protest to the government of
Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of a judicial decree to punish a 19-year-old
female victim of gang rape, known only as 'Qatif Girl,' with 200 lashes and
According to Arab News, CNN and other international media sources, the
victim had been gang raped by seven Saudi men, when she attempted to
retrieve unspecified photographs from allegedly being used in a blackmail
However, when the woman made a public protest in response to what she
and her attorney, Abdul-Rahman Al-Lahem, considered the inappropriately
lenient prison sentences given to her attackers-ranging from ten months to
five years - she herself received a court sentence of six months in prison,
and 200 lashes.
The victim's attorney was subsequently disbarred by a Saudi court and
prohibited from further representing his client as a result of protests
lodged regarding the lightness of the court's prior decision on the
sentences of the convicted rapists.
Al-Lahem was scheduled to meet with an administrative judge on Monday
to seek reinstatement to the bar and permission to continue representing
his client. It is reported that Saudi officials have not responded to media
requests for comments on the case.
Mahdi Bray, the Executive Director of MAS Freedom, issued the following
statement regarding this incident:
"MAS Freedom views the sentencing in this case as an unspeakably cruel
and brutal miscarriage justice, and a clear violation of the compassion and
mercy taught by the religion of Islam. Not only has this woman endured the
horror of gang rape, but she is now being subject to an equally terrible
infliction of pain and harm by the legal system of Saudi Arabia.
"We call upon the Saudi government to overturn this cruel sentence, and
to immediately reinstate her attorney to the practice of law so that he can
give her the legal representation that she is due.
"Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught in his Sunnah (Prophetic tradition)
that 'Paradise lies at the feet of our mothers.' How, then, can Muslims
tolerate the violent abuse of women in the eyes of any legal system?
"American Muslims must not be silent in the face of such blatant
violations of decency and fundamental human rights. We call upon our entire
community, and American Muslim organizations nationwide to condemn this
terrible miscarriage of justice.
"MAS Freedom believes that the true value and beauty of Islam can only
be manifested when women are afforded the respect, and human rights given
to all human beings by our Creator. We reject the distorted, and un-Islamic
idea, that regards the systematic oppression, and even physical violation
of women as tolerable."
The victim's husband (and 'legal guardian') is scheduled to receive a
copy of the verdict this coming Saturday from the Qatif General Court,
after which the defendant will have 30-days to file an appeal with the
Court of Cassation.
MAS Freedom (MASF) is a civic and human rights advocacy entity and
sister organization of the Muslim American Society (MAS), the largest
Muslim, grassroots, charitable, religious, social, cultural, civic and
educational organization in America - with 55 chapters in 35 states. Learn
more here (http://www.masnet.org/).
SOURCE MAS Freedom