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