The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tuesday Tidbits 

More news, although it's no news, about the "Khamys Mushayt Girl", previously covered here and here.

Time is running out for the woman known as the Khamis Mushayt Girl as she moves ever closer to execution.
The woman was convicted of murdering a man while trying to fend off a forcible rape. Repeated efforts to sway the family of the murder victim to grant her pardon have failed, Al-Madinah newspaper reported.
The condemned woman has gained the sympathy of millions of people across the Kingdom. The website covering the case has recorded more than six million hits so far.
Maj. Saud Al-Otaibi, director of Abha prison, said the girl has spent six years wondering whether her fate will be pardon or death. Lately she has become isolated, extremely depressed and her physical condition is deteriorating, Al-Otaibi said. An air of optimism for both guards and inmates that the latest efforts might secure her pardon had now turned to one of disappointment as her execution looms.
A human rights group interfered on her behalf, but its efforts failed. Although forcible rape is universally condemned, some find it ironic that defending against it apparently results in similar condemnation here.

Maybe I'm clutching at straws, but the execution was scheduled for August 18th, and these things are usually very prompt, so perhaps the continued delay indicates some royal interest, and dare we hope it, pardon?


THE Council of Ministers on Monday approved a new system that it said would strengthen the National Human Rights Commission.
The proposal for the new system was submitted by Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Interior, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Under the new system, the Commission will be directly linked to the Prime Minster King Abdullah.
It is tasked with strengthening the protection of human rights by also raising awareness and ensuring the application of its rules in line with the Islamic Shariah.

The idea of "Nasty Naif" sponsoring Saudi Human Rights is as likely as Donald Rumsfeld taking "goody bags" to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. It is of course the second such body; the first one was set up in March 2004. In that same month, a bunch of reformists criticized it for being a "government poodle". So the government showed how commited they were to Human Rights by banging them up, together with their lawyers. I think there was a "Two for the price of one" deal on that month. They finally got out last month; the new King pardoned them, but I'll leave you to guess whether there was an apology.

On a lighter note, my thanks to Shari for this photograph. She asks where it's from. Well, it's obviously a Saudi camel, you can tell from the face. You can't avoid loving camels, they'll just sit there all day, totally unfazed. Not like a highly-strung Arabian horse, it'd be two miles down the road by the time you got your camera out, ask Michael Brown. Anyway, the clue is the advertising hoarding at the top right. It's in......Hebrew! Now the Joooos are stealing our camels!

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