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Tue 10 May 2011 05:55 PM

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Saudi orphan girls flogged for attack on principal

Girls received six lashes each, no details on nature of attack on head of orphanage

Saudi orphan girls flogged for attack on principal
The girls received 10 lashes each under the countrys strict interpretation of Islamic law at a womens prison in Medina

Six orphan girls aged between 12 and 18 were flogged in
Saudi Arabia after being convicted of attacking the head of their orphanage, an
official said on Tuesday.

The girls received 10 lashes each under the country's strict
interpretation of Islamic law at a women's prison in Medina, Islam's second
holiest city, in the west of the desert state.

"The order against the six orphans is a legitimate
court order," said Mohammed Al Awadh, the public relations manager at the
Ministry of Social Affairs. "The ministry does not have the right to
interfere in a court order."

He gave no details of the ruling but the Arabic-language
newspaper Okaz said the girls had been convicted of "acts of
mischief" and attacking the director of the orphanage.

The girls defended their actions, saying they were harassed
by the director, Okaz reported.

International human rights groups have criticised the Saudi
justice system for applying corporal punishment for petty crimes, as well as
limb amputations for thieves and beheadings for murderers under its strict
interpretation of Islamic law.

Saudi officials say the practice is widely approved by Saudi
society and is a deterrent to crime.

In January 2010 a teenage girl was sentenced to 90 lashes
and two months in prison for hitting her school principal on the head with a
cup when she took away her mobile phone.

Awadh said the Ministry of Social Affairs would continue to
care for the six orphans after the floggings were carried out.

"What it will do is rehabilitate and take care of the
girls' social wellbeing, which is part of its duties and
responsibilities," he said.

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Neil 9 years ago

What about the kid's allegations about the Principal?

Richard 9 years ago

Easy to see that Principal is right and these girls lack respect for the person who is their main support, that these orphan girls lack any sense of responsibility or respect for an institution which caters their every need and that the principal would never abuse this situation or position of trust, that the youth energy and joy could be changed to anger and mischieve only by cynical minds and the system is full of checks and balances to ensure that vulnerable members of society are not taken advantage of or ignored and that the flogging is a sign of real care and sincere affection from the system charged with welfare.