Well, 200 lashes can do that to a person. Except — the lashes haven’t been administered yet. It’s the trauma of what happened that’s crushed her. The lashes are just a little “bonus” from your friendly neighborhood U.S. ally. There’s a lot of spin to cut through here, some of it from the victim’s husband and some of it from the Saudi government, which attributes the appellate court’s decision to increase the number of lashes against her to some mysterious “new evidence” that came to light. Problem is, the Arab News, a state-run paper, already reported that the real reason is because the victim spoke out against the initial sentence of 90 lashes. The husband’s spin on behalf of the egalitarian glories of the Kingdom is forgivable since he needs friends in high places to get his wife’s sentence overturned. Even so, try reading it without having your skin crawl.
His wife, who he said is “a quiet, simple person who does not bother anyone,” is in ill health and too fragile to speak about the case, he said. As her guardian under Saudi law, he is standing up for her publicly.
The attack, trial and sentencing have taken a heavy toll on his wife’s health, which was already poor, he said.
She suffers from anemia, a blood disorder , and asthma, he said. She will have surgery next month to remove her gallbladder.
“Since the attack, she’s been suffering from severe depression.”
The events ended her pursuit of an education beyond high school, he said. “Her situation keeps changing from bad to worse,” he said. “You could say she’s a crushed human being.”…
“If this sentence is based on the law then I would’ve welcomed it,” he said. “But it is harsh and the Saudi society I know and belong to is more sympathetic than that. I do not expect such harshness from Saudis, but rather compassion and support of the victim and her rights.”
Saudi society, he said, is “is very respectful to women in general.”
Audio here. Note how bleak the prospects for a reprieve seem to be.