Saudi Arabia

    A pardon by Saudi King Abdullah for a gang-rape victim sentenced to flogging was a direct response to an international outcry rather than an effort to reform the kingdom’s Islamic Sharia courts. Saudi Arabia, which holds its US ties in high regard, came under pressure when the Supreme Judicial Council last month ordered a 19-year-old Shi’ite woman to 200 lashes and six months in prison for having been with an unrelated man when the two were attacked and raped by seven other men in 2006. (Reuters)

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