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.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Glimmer of hope for the "Khamys Mushayt Girl"? 

It used to be the case that we prided ourselves on swift, if not transparent, "justice". This case is becoming one of many exceptions. I first mentioned it back in August.

Now, the "Arab News" is hinting at a pardon.

Khamis Girl May Receive Pardon

Samira Murait, who was convicted of murdering a man while trying to defend herself against an attempted rape, might have a chance for pardon and thus escape execution.

Abdul Aziz ibn Khamis, the legal attorney of Murait told Al-Watan newspaper that the victim’s family, after many interventions, showed signs of agreement to drop the case and spare Murait’s life.

He said they might consider dropping the case but with certain non-financial conditions which they have not yet revealed.

Samira herself is not happy with the press coverage.

Speaking about the effect of media on her case she said that some of what was published in the newspapers was not true and was full of both fabricated and exaggerated facts which did not help her case. She noted that the media took advantage of her case to make an unnecessary scandal, leading to further distortion of her image in front of the victim’s family.

Unfortunately, the reason we get "fabricated and exaggerated facts" is that court proceedings are entirely secret. No court reporters, no photographs, no courtroom TV, no interviews on the steps. Imagine the situation where you are a young girl accused of murder, and your defense is that the "victim" was trying to rape you.

You won't find "Judge Judy" in the courtroom. You won't have "Ally McBeal" defending you. Instead, your fate will be decided by men like this, with long straggly beards, whose only legal training is studying the Quran. And whose only insight into women's lives are those long heart-to-heart discussions, baring their soul with with one of their four wives, or with their Filipino nanny, or with their Indonesian housemaid. If an unconventional male schoolteacher gets three years in prison, what hope do you have?

Let us hope and pray that the family of the "victim" do the right, honorable, and Godly thing.

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