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Rapist Given Reduced Sentence

This is from the Gulf Times Court RoundUp

Life sentence commuted

A Doha appeals court has commuted to five-year imprisonment the life sentence given to a local teenager, who was convicted of raping a Sri Lankan housemaid.

Two Sri Lankan men in their late 20s were sentenced in absentia by a Doha court of first instance to 15 years imprisonment for helping the accused to perpetrate the crime.

The court heard that the two Sri Lankan accomplices who worked in a car washing facility told the main accused about the woman.

The rape took place soon after midnight on August 14, 2007.

According to the chargesheet, the main accused impersonated as a policeman and dragged the victim to his car, before they drove to a remote area.

“The two accomplices were paid money for their help and they left the car leaving the teenager with the 25-year old maid alone in a remote area.”

The court heard that the woman was too weak to resist the rapist, which was why no trace of violence was visible on her body.

“I shouted for help but in vain,” she said.

Explaining the commutation of the sentence, the court said that it took into consideration the young age of the convict and his clean record.

OK. So two Sri Lankan men tell a ‘local’ man about an Ethiopian house maid, and they plot to kidnap her, take her far out into the desert and to rape her.

Their plot succeeds, only somehow, they are identified and actually brought to trial.

The two Sri Lankans escape, and are convicted in their absence. The ‘local’ man is given a life time sentence. But wait! His sentence is commuted to five years because of his youth and clean record?

If I were a Qatteri father, I would want to know this man’s name. I would not want a man marrying my daughter who had a history of kidnapping a woman and raping her against her will way out in the desert. This man may be young, but he has already shown himself capable of doing something hugely WRONG, according to his own culture, and the law of the country. He plotted. He went to the trouble of impersonating a policeman to intimidate her into his car. He took her to a place where there would be no help for her, and she endured a terrifying experience, an experience she did not know she would live through, and an experience which will haunt her life and make her feel unsafe forever.

And this unnamed ‘local’ teenager gets five years in prison. Here is a good example of where a female judge might make a substantial difference in delivering justice for the Ethiopian housemaid.

March 14, 2010 Posted by | Crime, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Interconnected, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Qatar, Women's Issues | 6 Comments

First Woman Judge in Qatar

I am delighted to hear that Qatar has appointed its first female judge. I have to points of contention with this article. First – while I want women to have the same opportunity to be judges as men, I do not believe that because they are women, they can solve family rows better. I believe some female judges may be better than some male judges, but I don’t believe women will be better with family issues just because they are women. Women have agendas, too.

Second, one female judge does not fill a void. It sets a precedent. It breaks new ground. It IS a great and wonderful thing for Qatar.

It does not fill a void. Take all the judge positions in Qatar, and divide them by the percentage of females in Qatar – say like 50%. The void for female judges is equal to 50% of the positions. The void is not yet filled. Filling that void has just begun.

A woman judge can solve family rows better, say female lawyers
Web posted at: 3/13/2010 6:15:3

DOHA: Family courts in Qatar which hear marital disputes and claims for the custody of children from divorced or separated couples were in bad need of women judges, so with the appointment of Sheikha Maha Mansour Al Thani as an assistant judge, the dream has come true, say prominent women lawyers.

Being party to marital disputes or disputes involving the custody of children, women can be better understood by judges from their ilk.

So with Sheikha Maha having been appointed as judicial assistant, the void has been filled, said lawyer Neda Al Sulaiti.

She, however, clarified that she did not mean that women should be appointed judges only in certain courts.

“Women are capable, so they can be judges in all types of courts. It is another thing, though, that family courts here were particularly in bad need of female judges,” she told a local Arabic daily.

According to her, Sheikha Maha’s appointment to this elevated judicial position is a tribute to the rising clout of Qatari women. “They carry out in an excellent way whatever responsibility is assigned to them,” said the lawyer.

Qatari women are highly qualified and talented. They are in the ministry and the Central Municipal Council (CMC). So it was high time they were represented in the judiciary as well.

When women can be good lawyers why they cannot be good judges, she argues.

March 14, 2010 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Law and Order, Leadership, Qatar, Women's Issues | 1 Comment