From the NYT:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — King Abdullah has pardoned a woman who was sentenced to 200 lashes after pressing charges against seven men who raped her, a Saudi newspaper reported Monday.

Think: a woman and man are both raped by seven men, and while the men do get jail sentences, the victims are also ordered to be lashed. For being alone together and not married. In Europe, female members of the Swiss Army succesfully sued to have the penis removed from the lion that emblazons Army’s coat of arms, while in Saudi Arabia they get lashed near to death for protesting against rape.

It’s a different world out there. And, what’s worse:

There have been reports that her brother has tried to kill her to remove the “stain” to the family’s honor, and bloggers and international human rights activists have expressed concern for her safety.

The Saudi minister of social affairs, Dr. Abdul Mohsin Alakkas, reached by telephone, said that Saudi women who run into trouble with the law frequently fear retribution from their relatives. Some women who serve prison time refuse to leave prison at the end of their sentences, he said.

Think about that. Her own brother is rumored to have attempted to kill her. For having been raped by seven men. That this goes on in Saudi Arabia is not news to me, but every once in awhile I hear of such events that are so outrageous, so barbaric, that I cannot help but feel aghast that human beings treat each other in this way. Perhaps that makes me naive, or insensitive to strict Muslim practices, but god damn that is repugnant.