King Abdullah Pardons Saudi Rape Victim

Acts out of compassion, but still believes jail time, lashes were 'fair'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2007 3:10 AM CST
Saudi King Abdullah. (AP Photo/HO, Saudi News Agency)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A young Saudi gang rape victim whose case sparked worldwide condemnation when she was sentenced to a lashing and jail time for violating Islamic law has been pardoned, Al Jazeera reports. King Abdullah pardoned the woman in the "interests of the people" and out of compassion for the victim, though he is still "convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair," an official said.

The woman, who was 18 when she was assaulted by seven men, was sentenced to 90 lashes for being alone with a man unrelated to her, a violation of strict Islamic law that apparently prompted the attack. The sentence was hiked to 200 lashings and six months in jail after her attorney appealed the sentence.