“We note a shift in public discourse concerning this case; it has effectively turned from a gang rape — in which the rapists were the perpetrators — to a case of seduction in which the girl is the seducer and guilty party. Some scholars have expressed their belief that the girl and her ‘partners’ deserve the death penalty. Notice please the use of the word ‘partners.’ The word ‘partner’ usually suggests a voluntary link or association…

It has been interesting to follow the online comments from readers and members of the public about the case. A shift in perspective has become very clear; now there are voices asking for stoning and some are asking for death — for the girl of course. Some readers have blamed the media for defaming the girl’s reputation by asking for more information on the case; some others have accused the press of tarnishing the Kingdom’s image abroad. Who, I must ask, has tarnished the image? But why has there been a shift in perspective? Why suddenly is there talk of the victims being the guilty party? How did we lose direction so quickly?”

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“Then he said, ‘[name withheld], you get 90 lashes. You should thank God that you’re not in prison’. I asked why and he said, ‘You know why. Because it’s khilwa hair sharan [mingling begets evil]’. Everyone looks at me as if I’m wrong. I couldn’t even continue my studies. I wanted to die.”