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Saudi Arabia: A Country where women get punished for being raped

The Islamic world considers Saudi Arabia to be an ideal Islamic state. Saudi Arabia is being ruled by the Islamic Sharia law which is considered as divine or Allah-made law by Muslims. Muslims living in India, Europe and America often demand to establish Sharia law even in Non-Muslim countries. Many Muslim women organisations can be seen on the streets of Europe protesting against democracy and in favour of establishing Sharia rule instead of democracy like it is in Saudi Arabia, the master of Islam. But when it comes to Human rights Saudi Arabia is a living hell.

Human Rights Watch has investigated the situation, and their report concludes that the rape victim is punished for being raped when they speak out against the crime in Saudi Arabia. In one case, the victim's sentence was doubled for speaking out.  The court also harassed the victim's lawyer, going so far as to confiscate his professional license.

As per Islamic Sharia law, it is believed that a woman is responsible for her own rape. Under Saudi Law (Islamic Sharia law), all females must have a male guardian (wali), typically a father, brother or husband (mahram). Girls and women are forbidden from travelling, conducting official business, or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their male guardians. Women should be totally covered in Burqa from head to toe in front of non-Mahram men.

If a woman goes outside her home without her male guardian, even if she is fully covered in Burqa, she is inviting rape by her presence in public. In that situation, if a woman gets raped, she will be punished for adultery; not the rapist.

In case if a woman is fully covered and she is with her male guardian and still she gets raped, she is considered guilty of adultery unless she can provide four adult Muslim male witnesses who had watched the action and who would testify that the sex was actually forced on her and that she was not a willing partner in it.

 Islamic Sharia law doesn’t consider women and Non-Muslim men as witnesses. If she  has only female witnesses in case she was raped by an intruder in front of her fellow wives and slave girls or in a  women’s  dormitory full of women witnesses  then she is out of luck. Her punishment is  stoning to death  if she is married or hundred (100) lashes if single.

In a much-publicized Qatif rape case court sentenced the rape victim to six months in prison and 90 lashes each for "being alone with a man who is not a relative" in a parked car. The victim was a teenage girl from Qatif (Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia) and her male companion, who was kidnapped and gang-raped by seven Saudi Muslim men in mid-2006.

The victim of a violent gang rape had been sentenced by a Saudi Arabian court to 200 lashes and six months in jail for the crimes of speaking to the press and indecency. According to Islamic Sharia Law, a Muslim woman must be accompanied by a male guardian at all times in public, something the 19-year-old victim did not obey when she went to meet a friend.

In an interview with Arabic Magazine Saiydati, the girl said about the incident:

I knew him since I was ten, but I only knew him through telephonic conversations.  His voice was all I knew about him. He then threatened to tell my family about it if I didn’t give him a picture of myself. Months later I asked him to give it back since I got engaged to be married. So we agreed to meet near the City Plaza mall located fifteen minutes away from my house. When we were heading back, a car stopped right in front of his and two men carrying knives came out. I told him not to unlock the doors but he did, and I started screaming. They drove for a long time while we were forced to keep our heads down. When we arrived I noticed a lot of palm trees. They took me out to a dark area and forced me to take off my clothes. The first man with the knife raped me. He destroyed me. I thought about running away but where could I go to looking like this? Another man came in and did the same. I was about to faint. For more than two hours I asked them to leave me alone, I begged them. The third man was violent and the fourth almost strangled me. The fifth and sixth were even more brutal. When the seventh man finished I couldn't feel myself anymore. He was so fat I couldn't breathe. Then they all did it again. When they dropped me home I couldn't walk, my mom opened the door and said I looked sick. I couldn't tell anyone and for a whole week I couldn't eat, but later I went to the hospital.

Marital rape, domestic violence, and forced marriages are legal in Saudi Arabia. Every year hundreds of women get punished for being raped and thousands of women don’t open their mouth in fear of being punished.

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Gaurav Singh
Thinker, Writer, Story Teller & History Lover

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