Friends like these

Here's a nice story from Saudi Arabia, a land with which, according to New Labour minister Kim Howells, we have many "shared values".

An appeal court has just sentenced a nineteen year-old victim of gang rape to 200 lashes and six months in one of the country's famously salubrious jails. Originally they were only going to flog her 90 times but the court considered this far too lenient. The six men who abducted and raped her at gunpoint got off with relatively light prison sentences.

Her crime? "Being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape". The fact that they were holding a gun to her throat was clearly no excuse.

Meanwhile the unnamed girl's lawyer has had his licence to practise law suspended for daring to challenge the initial verdict.

Makes you wonder what King Abdullah and the Queen were talking about over the canap├ęs.


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