Wednesday, November 28, 2007

US moves position on Saudia Arabia case. A bit.

Following reports that several men had raped a 19 year old woman in Saudi Arabia -- and that the judicial system then prepared to punish the woman with 200 lashes -- the US offered only the very mildest of criticism.

The US really wanted the Saudi Arabian foreign minister to come to the Annapolis Conference on Tuesday. It was -- even more than normally -- not a time they wanted to criticize the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia continued it's virulent PR campaign against the woman last week, with statements on the 20th and 24th.

On Tuesday the foreign minister did show up in Annapolis, and also he announced that a Saudi court will give some kind of "review" of the case, whatever that means.

And following those developments, the US's position finally changed a bit. Here's Rice on Good Morning America Wednesday:
QUESTION: I want to talk to you now about Saudi Arabia. One of the people there at the peace talks is Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, and he has said that the government there in Saudi Arabia will rectify something that has really caused quite an international outrage involving the Saudi woman who was raped and then sentenced to 200 lashes. Are you confident that the Saudi Arabian Government will keep its word and rectify this?

Well, we're certainly pleased that they've said they will review it. The world looked at this and there's no way to explain this. This woman was clearly a victim. And so I am pleased that the Saudis have said that they will review it. I think that's a very important step.


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