2007 News Story

King Abdullah pardons “Qatif Girl”

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has issued a royal decree pardoning a Saudi woman who was a victim of kidnapping and rape and sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison, Minister of Justice Dr. Abdullah Al-Ashaikh announced today to Saudi TV.

The woman, from the Eastern Province city of Qatif, has become known internationally as the “Qatif Girl.” More than a year ago, she was abducted at knifepoint and gang-raped by seven men as she sat in a car with a male companion.

King Abdullah made the decision to issue the pardon in the public interest and taking into consideration the fact that the woman and her companion had been subjected to a brutal crime and psychological trauma, Al-Ashaikh said. The King also stipulated that the charges against the woman be dropped and that her attackers be tried with the most punitive sentence.

Al-Ashaikh denied reports that the law license of the woman’s lawyer, Abdulrahman Al-Lahem, was withdrawn. The Ministry of Justice did not take such a decision regarding Al-Lahem, he said.