January 21st, 2010
07:00 PM ET

13-yr-old Saudi girl sentenced to 90 lashes for bringing cell phone to school?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A 13-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 90 lashes in front of her classmates. Her crime? She brought a cell phone to school.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/21/art.saudi.woman.jpg caption="FILE PHOTO: A Saudi woman poses for a photo in the city of Riyadh. This is not the 13-year-old girl from this story."]
A Saudi account of the story printed in "The Daily Mail" says a court also sentenced the child to two months in jail.

The girl reportedly assaulted her teacher after she was caught with the phone. Cell phones are banned in girls' schools in Saudi Arabia. This punishment is harsher than what some Saudi thieves get.

This is sick. Saudi Arabia is one of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East - because they have all that oil. And this is how they treat children. But as long as we need their oil, we just look the other way.

The country is an absolute monarchy that uses one of the strictest versions of Sharia - or Islamic law - anywhere.

They interpret the law to justify cruel punishment like amputation, stoning, public beheadings and crucifixions.

Saudi women are not allowed to drive - and in public, they must be completely covered and accompanied by a male relative at all times. Flogging is mandatory for "moral" offenses like adultery or being alone with an unrelated person of the opposite sex.

The ruler, King Abdullah, has supported some social reforms in the last few years - but in many instances, the religious clerics have so much power they can pretty much call the shots.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say when America’s ally Saudi Arabia sentences a 13-year-old girl to 90 lashes after bringing a cell phone to school?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Saudi Arabia • U.S. Global Image • United States
April 13th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Saudi judge refuses to annul marriage of 8-year-old girl

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Last week in the Cafferty File we told you about a new Afghan law that legalizes rape. This week's outrage story comes courtesy of another one of our allies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia - where a judge has refused for a second time to annul a marriage between an eight-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man.

The Saudi girl pictured here (unrelated to this particular news item) buys a soft drink as her mother waits for her in the city of Jeddah.

The same judge rejected a petition back in December from the girl's mother, who was trying to get a divorce for her daughter. A relative of the girl tells CNN that the Saudi judge says he's sticking by his earlier verdict, and that the girl can petition the court for a divorce once she reaches puberty.

The mother's lawyer says that it was the eight-year-old girl's father who arranged the marriage in order to settle his debts with the man. The judge required the girl's husband to sign a pledge that he wouldn't have sex with her until she reaches puberty. Right.

Child marriage is a controversial topic in the Saudi kingdom. Human rights groups have been calling on the government to pass laws that would protect young girls. But the country's top cleric says it's okay for girls as young as 10 to get married.

This stuff is beyond sick. But there isn't much the U.S. can do or say... is there? We're completely dependent on Saudi Arabia's oil. Saudi Arabia - the country that gave us many of the 9/11 hijackers and a place where it's alright for grown men to marry children.

Pretty disgusting.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when a Saudi judge refuses to annul a marriage between an 8-year-old girl and a 47-year-old man?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Saudi Arabia