Nov 20,2007 00:00
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Human rights groups in Saudi Arabia want charges dropped against a woman who was gang-raped and then jailed for speaking publicly about her case.
The woman, 19, was sentenced to 200 lashes of a whip and six months in prison, while the license of her lawyer, Abdulrahman al-Lahim, was revoked last week for speaking to the media, CNN reported Monday.
Barring the woman's lawyer from representing her in court nearly is equivalent to rape itself, said Fawzeyah al-Oyouni, a founder of the newly formed Saudi Association for the Defense of Women's Rights.
"This is not just about the girl, it's about every woman in Saudi
Arabia," Oyouni said. "We're fearing for our lives and the lives of our
sisters and our daughters and every Saudi woman out there. We're afraid
of going out in the streets."
The woman, who is married, and an unrelated man were kidnapped in 2006 by seven men, who raped her, CNN reported. It is illegal in Saudi Arabia for a woman to meet with an unrelated man.
The woman's attackers were sentenced to two to nine years in prison, CNN reported.
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