Published November 15, 2007
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – A 19-year-old female victim of gang rape who initially was ordered to undergo 90 lashes for "being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape," has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail for telling her story to the news media.
The new verdict was handed down by Saudi Arabia's Higher Judicial Council following a retrial, the Arab News reported.
The court last year sentenced the six heavily-armed men who carried out the attack against the Shiite woman to between one and five years for committing the crime.
But the judges had decided to punish the woman further for "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," a court source told the Arab News.
The new verdict issued on Wednesday also toughened the sentences against the six men to between two and nine years in prison.
Saudi Arabia enforces a strict Islamic doctrine that forbids unrelated men and women from associating with each other, bans women from driving and forces them to cover head-to-toe in public.
The case has angered members of Saudi Arabia's Shiite community. The convicted men are Sunni Muslims, the dominant community in the oil-rich Gulf state.