Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rape 'harmless fun' says lawyer

This is a verbatim news report from today's Gulf Daily News:

THE alleged abduction and gang rape of a woman was dismissed as harmless fun by a female defence lawyer in a Bahrain trial yesterday.

Three men accused of the attack should be acquitted because young people often commit crimes for "fun", without criminal intent, said lawyer Fatima Al Hawaj.

The men, aged 19, 20 and 21, are accused at the High Criminal Court of snatching a Filpina off the street as she walked home from work at night, last September.

They allegedly drove her to an isolated area in Askar, gang raped her and then abandoned her, after stealing her mobile phone and purse.

All three deny abduction, rape and theft.

Ms Al Hawaj told judges that her clients were youngsters and that "minors' often committed crimes for fun, without ill-intent.

"It is general knowledge that youngsters commit crimes for the fun of it and not with the intention to harm others and I request the court to take that into consideration and clear my clients of the charges," she argued.

The 24-year-old woman failed to show up in court yesterday for cross-examination despite knowing about the session.

Attorney Mohammed Al Mutawa stepped in mid-session, saying he represented her and pledged to bring her to the next hearing.

"I am representing her in this case and she knows about the hearing, but couldn't make it due to personal reasons. I pledge to personally bring her to the next session," he told judges.

The woman was allegedly walking home from the hotel she works in Manama when the men, who were driving a rented car, followed her.

Prosecutors claim they grabbed her hands and dragged her into their car, drove her to a secluded area in Askar and gang-raped her.

The men then allegedly stole her mobile phone and purse, which contained cash and dumped her in the middle of the desert. She later managed to identify her abductors' car and the rape kit results were positive for the defendants' DNA, said the prosecution. Judges adjourned the case to April 12, to summon the woman for cross-examination.

Welcome to stories from Wonderland!

P.S. Coolred 38 has already written about this here.


Vinod_Sharma said...

Thank God the lawyer just said that rape was "harmless fun"...wonder why someone did not ask as to why she was unaccompanied by a relative and demand lashes for her!

Just goes to show how relative the terms liberty, freedom and women's rights are in different societies.

Are women legally treated as property of men in Bahrain too?

Sagarone said...

Vinod, like other countries in this region, this too is an Arab and Islamic society.

Indyeah said...

this is such utter crap that one wonders if these people and we live in the same world!
what a beautiful side of humanity one is a witness to!

I have no words..

Anonymous said...

This is disturbing. I wonder sometimes why are we so different? How do we view things so differently based on our surroundings.

Sagarone said...

@Indyeah and @Mesoliloquy, You are both right in that we do not live in the same world! Societies perceive the same issue thru their own filters of morality, decency, justice and acceptability and come to different conclusions.

Varunavi said...

If the female lawyer has faced herself then maybe she will realise what is rape and what is fun?
I am shocked.Any way law is the gulf doesnt recognise a women as a women.

manju said...

There is really nothing that one can comment about such a twisted attitude that the defense lawyer exhibited. Such a sad society!

Sagarone said...

Varunavi, you of course realize that this is a very racist society and discrimination is rampant. Because it happened to a foreigner and a Filipina at that, it wasn't considered that serious, because they are perceived as being of loose morals. If the same thing had happened to a local lady, reactions would have been different.

Varunavi said...

Here in gulf laws are meant for only expats.A local is never caught for any crime but a expat in particular asians are caught.
Having said this what happened in saudi,a local women was given punishement with no fault of hers

Anrosh said...

People who are against the freedom and liberty of woman are sometimes woman themselves and that includes some men too.

it is all about a feeling about " i am a superior species bought about by class, social status etc etc and not necessarily all the time about being a man or a woman.

on another note, if i come to bahrain, should i be wearing a burkha and be accompanied by a male all the time? - is bahrain the same case as in saudi ?

thanks sagar

Sagarone said...

Anrosh, agree to what you say about class and social status. It does bring about a feeling of superiority. And fwiw, this is perhaps the most liberal of the Gulf countries. Women are allowed to and do drive cars here, and no need for male relatives to accompany you. When I was young, there were not so many burkhas to be seen around, but gradually it has somehow become synonymous with respectability.

How do we know said...

ooh... this one makes me very sad. That it should come from a woman only demonstrates what it is like where power is scarce among women.