Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

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   Mr. Speaker, in Saudi Arabia, seven men abducted a 19-year-old woman and her male companion. The seven men then raped the woman. And how does Saudi Arabia treat this rape victim? By ordering lashes and imprisonment for her because they blamed her for being alone with this male companion because he wasn't her spouse.

   A Saudi Arabian court originally, listen to this, sentenced her to 90 lashes because she was alone with this individual. As if further victimization wasn't enough, the court just increased the victim's sentence to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison.

   The Saudi Arabian Government now seeks to quell international outrage over this sentence by saying the woman was married at the time of the rape but she was with a nonrelative male companion who wasn't her spouse.

   No explanation or excuse can justify this punishment for the victim. This woman was victimized by her own nation.

   The Saudi Arabian court also removed the lawyer from the case and revoked his license because he spoke to the media. The lawyer now faces permanent disbarment. So much for freedom of speech.

   Human rights seem to be absent in Saudi Arabia, because rape victims should not be sent to jail, and even lawyers should have the right of freedom of speech.

   And that's just the way it is.


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