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Judicial CP - November 2003

Corpun file 12323

Arab News, Riyadh/Jeddah/Dhahran, 18 November 2003

Woman Sentenced to 500 Lashes for Immoral Conduct

Staff Writer

JEDDAH, 18 November 2003 - A Jizan court has sentenced a young woman to 500 lashes for allegedly spending time alone with a young man and marrying him hours after divorcing her former husband, Al-Madinah reported on Sunday.

According to the court ruling, the groom will also get 500 lashes while the mazoun who married them will get 30 lashes for violating Shariah rules.

The woman was on bad terms with her former husband and entered into a romantic relationship with the young man. But under Shariah, she was required to wait for three months before marrying another man, the paper said.

Copyright: Arab News 2003 All rights reserved.

Corpun file 12405

Arab News, Riyadh/Jeddah/Dhahran, 22 November 2003

Seven Jailed for Taking Part in Demonstrations

Staff Writer

JEDDAH, 22 November 2003 — A court in Jeddah has sentenced seven individuals who participated in recent protests and obstructed security men from doing their job to jail terms ranging from one month to three months.

They have also been ordered to sign an agreement that they would never again engage in the same offense. The court refused a request by the prosecuting attorney for a more severe sentence.

Five of the seven confessed to participating in one way or another in the protest; they expressed their regret and assured the authorities they did not wish to provoke chaos and damage public welfare.

This resulted in a jail sentence of one month for the five.

The other accused, a Saudi and Sudanese, were sentenced to two and three months in prison respectively, with the Saudi being sentenced to an additional 60 lashes for not confessing nor acknowledging that he had done any damage to public welfare. The Sudanese will be deported after serving his jail term.

Copyright: Arab News 2003 All rights reserved.

Corpun file 12404

Arab News, Riyadh/Jeddah/Dhahran, 23 November 2003

Temper Justice With Mercy

By Amr Mohammed Al-Faisal


Last week I read in the newspapers about a young woman from Jizan who was sentenced to 500 lashes for marrying a young Jizani man after getting divorced from her first husband. You see, the young woman did not wait for the mandatory three months to pass before marrying her new husband. In fact, she married him the same day she got her divorce.

For that she got 500 lashes.

500 lashes?

A fornicator is sentenced to only 100 lashes.

500 lashes?

It is unheard-of that anyone was ever sentenced to 500 lashes during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). No one was ever sentenced to 500 lashes for anything during the period of the rightly guided caliphs. Surely justice must be tempered with mercy. Is proportionality an alien concept to us?

A young woman is sentenced to 500 lashes. Our media is then eager to announce the news in all the newspapers including the non-Arabic ones. As if this is something for us to be proud of. This merely confirms all the negative stereotypes about us we are painstakingly trying to dispel.

I call upon the Supreme Council of Judges and the Ministry of Justice to investigate this case, for it is clear that the punishment meted out to this unfortunate young woman is far in excess of the crime.

Why do we not follow the example of our Prophet after the battle of Badr, for instance? The prophet decided after the battle to ransom the Makkah prisoners who were captured by the Muslims, despite the fact that they were people who had attacked the Muslims and tried to kill them.

It would have been just to kill them all. Instead the Prophet chose to spare their lives in the hope that some would eventually accept Islam. This tradition then became enshrined in law.


This is another example of our Prophet choosing mercy over blind justice. There are many others impossible to recount here.

It is imperative that guidelines be drawn up to avoid similar cases of excessive punishment so that it does not become a feature of Saudi justice.

Copyright: Arab News 2003 All rights reserved.

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