The Blog

Saudi Justice

6:15 PM, Dec 19, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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Last March the interior ministry of the Kingdom of Sand and Oil convicted a destitute 75-year-old widow, Khamisa Sawadi, of "prohibited mingling," which is to say, she was caught by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice "mingling" with two men young enough to be her grandchildren but not related to her by blood (thus "prohibited"). But mingling how? They were bringing her and she was receiving from them a few loaves of bread.

All three were sentenced to Saudi justice--to wit, 40 lashes and prison--and now, with their appeal rejected by the Supreme Court of Appeals, they have taken their lashes and presumably will begin their prison terms, unless, of course, the siren Mrs. Sawadi cannot survive being whipped 40 times and is unable to do her time.

I call this unspeakable. Hope to be hearing the same very soon from Secretary Clinton, as the core and heart of her recent human rights tour d'horizon was the treatment of women.