I ‘pardon’ you

On a different note – the Saudi rape victim has been ‘pardoned’ by King Abdullah – the one we ‘share values’ with, according to Kim Howells. But don’t get the wrong idea – the King (the one we share values with) doesn’t actually think there was anything wrong with the sentence – the two hundred lashes for being raped – he just thinks it would be inconvenient at the moment, that’s all.

Mr. Khashoggi [a newspaper editor] said that the woman, who has married, had been living freely while her case was being appealed. There have been reports that her brother has tried to kill her to remove the “stain” to the family’s honor, and bloggers and international human rights activists have expressed concern for her safety. The Saudi minister of social affairs, Dr. Abdul Mohsin Alakkas, reached by telephone, said that Saudi women who run into trouble with the law frequently fear retribution from their relatives. Some women who serve prison time refuse to leave prison at the end of their sentences, he said. The Ministry of Social Affairs operates special shelters for these women, and Dr. Alakkas said the Qatif victim would be able to live in one.

Ah. Isn’t that sweet. Isn’t that kind. She gets to go live in a special prison for the rest of her life to avoid being murdered by her brother; is that thoughtful or what.

Commenting on the pardon, the Saudi justice minister, Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheik, told Al Jazirah that the king fully supported the verdicts against the woman but had decided to pardon her because it was in the “interests of the people.”

That’s the ticket. Stick to your guns, kingy. Merry Christmas and happy shared values.

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