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Saudi Arabia: Appeal and Your Sentence is Doubled up!!

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Response, International Relations

Saudi Arabia has sentenced Egyptian doctor Raouf Amin to seven years in prison and 1,500 lashes. What for? For allegedly administering addictive drugs to a Saudi Princess during a medical treatment in the course of his duties at a Saudi hospital. Dr. Raouf has reportedly denied the charges that he was responsible for the “princess” getting addicted to sedatives.

Dr. Amin's wife tells us the story in the Doctors without Rights blog [1]:

منذ ٥ سنوات استدعاه أمير سعودي لعلاج زوجته في قصره، وتبين له أنها أصيبت بكسر في الظهر، ونقلت إلي أمريكا للعلاج، حيث حقنت هناك بالمورفين المخدر لتسكين آلامها، غير أنها أدمنته بعد عودتها إلي المملكة، فقرر (رؤوف) بالاتفاق مع الأمير، علاجها من الإدمان حتي تعافت منه تماماً في مارس الماضي”
“Five years ago he (Dr. Amin) was summoned to a Saudi Prince's palace to treat his wife, she had broken her spinal cord and traveled to the United States for treatment where she had been injection with Morphine “sedatives” to ease her pain….however, she was hooked on it and got addicted after her arrival to Saudi Arabia. Raouf then, agreed with her husband to treat her from her addiction until she became totally clean in March.”
تابعت: «علي إثر ذلك قرر (رؤوف) تخفيض جرعة المورفين، الذي كان يحضره من بعض المستشفيات بأوامر من الأمير.. وبعد شفائها قرر زوجي العودة إلي مصر، وفوجئ بأنه ممنوع من مغادرة المملكة، وتبين له أن طبيباً سعودياً ضبطته السلطات وبحوزته أمبولات وأقراص مخدرة، وذكر في التحقيقات أنه يعطي هذه الأمبولات لـ(رؤوف
She continues: “As a result Raouf decided to decrease the morphine doze that he used to get from some hospitals upon the prince's instructions. After the princess was healed, Raouf opted to come back to Egypt where he discovered that he is prohibited from leaving the Kingdom, he figured later than a Saudi Doctor who was caught with sedative injections and tablets claimed that he gives those sedatives to Raouf.”

In his first trial Dr. Raouf Amin was sentenced to three years in prison and 700 lashes..however after his appeal, the sentence was doubled up; he will be whipped at the rate of 10-15 lashes a week during a 15-year jail sentence. The verdict was condemned not only by the human rights associations and civil entities, but also the ministry of interiors and the Egyptian Doctors Syndicate; Head of Doctors Syndicate Dr. Hamdy El Sayed stated to the AFP [2]:

“We condemn this verdict in the strongest terms and we are making contact with officials in Cairo and Saudi Arabia, as well as [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak for them to intervene,” El-Sayyed told AFP.

“He did not have a fair trial; there was not even any adequate medical expert opinion. … This judgment is more about torture than justice and does not correspond with any kind of law, human rights or even Sharia (Islamic law)”
It would have been better to have sentenced him to death than to torture him this way. One thousand five hundred lashings and 15 years in prison is too harsh even for a murderer.”

Needless to mention that the Egyptian public opinion cannot comprehend it. Caricature artist Ashraf Hamdy [3] angrily wonders:

“أين الخارجية المصرية ؟
أين منظمات حقوق الانسان ؟
أين وزير الصحة ؟”
“Where is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
Where are the Human Rights Organizations?
Where is the Minister of Health?”