Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MAS Freedom Welcomes Saudi King’s Pardon of ‘Qatif Girl’ But Reiterates the Need for Change

Aishah Schwartz, The American Muslim (US)

The Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray, who previously proclaimed the sentencing as a “gross and cruel miscarriage of true justice”, today added, “While the pardon in the ‘Qatif Girl’ case is, indeed, good news, particularly on this, the first day of Hajj, the fact remains that a pardon does not overturn the verdict - which means that Judges within the Kingdom remain undeterred from making the same ruling in similar cases. “The fact that this story received international media attention does not mean that the next victim will be so lucky. Clearly, from a human rights standpoint, we must continue to press for real change - judicial change - before the Qatif Girl case becomes cold. Unless real change is seen as a result of this pardon, it is nothing more than eye-candy for the media. “Equally important, and not to be forgotten, is the fact that human rights activist and attorney for the rape victim, Abdul-Rahman Al-Lahem, had his license to practice law suspended in defending his client - yet another gross miscarriage of justice that remains to be rectified,” Bray concluded.

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