Monday, November 17, 2008


The medieval situation of daily living in Saudi Arabia for foreigners is graphically illuminated with a Saudi court sentencing an Egyptian medical doctor to 15 years in jail and 1500 lashes.

The "crime" apparently was driving alone with a woman passenger who was a member of the Saudi Royal Family. The coerced "confessed crime," however, was inducing the female patient to become a drug addict.

The BBC reports on its web site:

"Rauf Amin Mohammad al-Arabi, who had worked for the royal family for 20 years, was sentenced to 15 years in jail and 1,500 lashes.

He and Shawky Abd-Rabbu were convicted of prescribing morphine to a princess - who then became a drug addict."

I thought Saudi Arabia was a "friend" of the Bush/Cheney gang. Is this the conduct of "friends?"

The case of Rauf Amin Mohammad is a perfect example of no due process. It appears that Rauf Amin Mohammad had no access to any lawyers, had limited right to appeal, was forced to confess during the time he was hospitalized for surgery, was held for the last two years with limited rights to visits from his family.

And consider the penalty - 1500 lashes administered on a weekly basis of 50 lashes each. Who could survive the physical stress and pain? This really is a death sentence.

Reports the BBC:

"Seventy of the lashes were reportedly administered last week, with 70 next week.

"The doctors had denied the allegations, but were initially sentence to 750 lashes on charges of malpractice. They appealed but lost and the sentence was then doubled.

"Arabi's wife, Fathiya Shehata Hendawi, says the sentence will kill her husband. She has begged for leniency and is appealing to the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to save his life.

""It's impossible that he will be able to handle 1,500 lashes. Maybe after the ninth or 10th one he will be killed. God forbid.

"Who benefits from this? Not his kids, their father is a victim of something he did not do. He is a victim of complete injustice," she said.

"The Saudi royal family has refused to comment but a number of Egyptian newspapers blame their own government, which they say suffers an inferiority complex when it comes to dealing with the oil rich Saudis, says our correspondent."

The case of Rauf Amin Mohammad shows life in Saudi Arabia to be backward and draconian. The whole world needs to understand the primitiveness of Saudi society and its stunted legal code.

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