The Saudi woman who was sentenced to 200 lashes for the crime of being gang raped has been pardoned by the king, reports AP.
Which is brilliant news, of course. However, before we get too excited, the king’s decision has been couched in some very odd language:
Justice Minister Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sheik said the pardon reported Monday by Saudi media does not mean the king doubted the country’s judges, but that he was acting in the “interests of the people.”
“The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair,” al-Sheik said, according to the Al-Jazirah newspaper.
So it was in the best interests of the Saudi people not to punish this woman, yet the system which meted out that punishment was fair and right? Very contradictory.