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Wafa receives final 50 lashes in Saudi prison

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Egyptian fashion designer in Saudi jail has completed 500 lashes, but still has time remaining in her sentence

Nagla Wafa, an Egyptian wedding dress designer, has been in prison in Saudi Arabia since 2009, following a dispute with a princess. (Photo via Facebook)

An Egyptian fashion designer and mother of two received the final 50 lashes of her 500 lash sentence early Monday morning.

Najla Wafa  had an appeal for amnesty postponed on Saturday and remains in jail because she still has time left to serve in prison, despite having received her lash sentence.

Wafa was arrested in September 2009 following a business dispute with a princess of the Saudi royal family. She was sentenced to five years in prison and 500 lashes in June 2011.

Saturday was the yearly amnesty hearing where lawyers can come forth and request that the Saudi judiciary grant their client a royal pardon.

This year, Wafa’s lawyers were hopeful that her release could be ensured by this means. However, when Abu Abdallah, Wafa’s lawyer, appeared for the amnesty hearing, the judge was not in possession of Wafa’s legal file.

“Every year it is not there,” said Salma Ashraf who works in the Egyptian branch of Alkarama, a rights group that has been keeping close tabs on the Wafa case. Ashraf said that Abdallah was summoned to the court and “when he gets there, there are files, but he can’t find her name. So he caused a big problem.”

The judge chastised Abdallah for his efforts saying: “You are Saudi, she is Egyptian, why are you helping her?”

Abdallah was resilient and ended up winning a postponement of Wafa’s amnesty hearing.

However, after ensuring the postponement, Abdallah himself was then detained in Riyadh for a period of 24 hours.

At 7am on Monday, Wafa received her 450th through 500th lash. The lashes are doled out in increments because they cannot be borne at one time.

Ashraf said that Wafa “has committed all of the lashes and more than half of the time,” so now Wafa’s lawyer and the Egyptian embassy are pleading first and foremost for her release with the caveat that the resolution of her dispute can be finalised later.

  • Reda Sobky

    This kind of injustice is rampant in authoritarian rule. People with power oppressing ordinary people when disagreement exists. The strong dominate the weak. That is the kind of society we are being promised. No real law abiding, just arbitrary will imposed on others using corrupt courts and then you plead with them and then they can be generous and give the oppressed a slight break so they can look good. Everybody needs to look at these these courts and see that it doesn’t work except for those in control, for everybody else, you just endure it and hope to get out alive. Are there no standards among jurists world wide, i know in medicine when things are done improperly almost everybody knows it, is there no such jurist judgement expressed? We need an organization to be called Jurists For Social Responsibility to rate actions such as these on a scale of shame.

  • Scott

    If people studied history they would know that the reason its called Saudi Arabia instead of ‘the flippin’ sand pit’ would know that the British gave the group ‘House of Saud’ machine guns so they could kill all the opposing tribes…during WWi and WWII. When they discovered oil under those sands…they became billionaires overnight…No one who has that much power/influence/control is going to give it up. They rose to power with a gun, they will keep it with a gun.

  • Arakiba

    What a disgusting, backwards country Saudi Arabia is. It’s the 21st century, not the Dark Ages, and this sort of thing has no place in the modern world. It sickens me.


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