01/22/2010, 00.00
SAUDI ARABIA – PHILIPPINES
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Riyadh: rape victim might be lashed 100 times

Woman becomes pregnant after being raped. As a result of the harsh prison conditions, she lost her child. Under Islamic law, extra-marital relations are forbidden and for the law any sexual violence involved makes no difference
Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A woman jailed after being raped could be lashed 100 times. Camille, an invented name, is a 35- year-old immigrant from the Philippines who has been in a Saudi jail since September 2009.  As a result of her rape, she became pregnant, but miscarried because of harsh prison life.

Under Saudi Arabia’s rigid application of Sharia or Islamic law, sexual relations outside of wedlock are strictly forbidden, irrespective of whether the woman is consenting or not. In fact, rape is punished in accordance with rules laid down in the Qur‘an.

The woman’s mother told her story in an interview with GMANews.Tv. Last spring, Camille went to Saudi Arabia to work in a dental clinic to support her 5-, 14- and 15-year-old children. In August, a co-worker from Bangladesh raped her.

Knowing that extra-marital relations are punishable under Saudi law, she did not go to the police to file charges, and tried instead to leave the country and return to the Philippines.

During a routine medical examination that expatriates must undergo before leaving, doctors found that she was pregnant. An arrest warrant was issued against her and on 11 September 2009, she was locked up in Hafer al Baten Central Jail.

Because of the generally harsh conditions in Saudi prisons, Camille miscarried last December.

According to her mother, she is scheduled to go before the judges who could impose 100 lashes.

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