Saudi King Abdullah has pardoned the rape victim who was previously sentenced to 200 lashes and a six month prison term for being alone in a car with an unrelated man when she was abducted and raped by seven men. The case sparked international outrage over the harsh sentence, which was increased to the 200 lashes with prison time after the woman appealed the initial sentence of 90 lashes.
Saudi Justice Minister Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Sheikh stipulated that the pardon does not mean that the King opposed the sentence, but acted in the interests of his people, the Associated Press reports.
The Justice Ministry recently defended its initial decision, claiming the ruling was legal because the woman had allegedly confessed to having an affair with the man, who was also raped at the time of the attack according to the BBC.
Media Resources: BBC 12/17/07; Associated Press 12/17/07; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/19/07
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .