Egyptian Designer Sentenced to 500 Lashes After Crossing Saudi Princess

nagla wafa

Photo: screenshot via The Los Angeles Times

Human rights activists are pushing for the release of Nagla Wafa, a 39-year-old Egyptian wedding planner, designer, and mother of twin teenagers who was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2009, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.Wafa was sentenced to 500 lashes and five years in prison after accusations of cashing a check from a Saudi princess without following through on their plan to launch a restaurant together. She has since suffered 50 floggings per week and, despite distortion to her spine, Wafa currently faces a staggering 200 more floggings as of May 2012, the LA Times reports.

Human rights organisations are accusing Saudi Arabia of unlawfully detaining Wafa. The Egyptian organisation for Human Rights has filed a complaint with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and Egypt’s National Council for Women has sent a letter to the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Cairo demanding a halt to Wafa’s flogging sentence and her release for “lack of conviction.”

Since Wafa’s family has gone public, Saudi Arabian authorities have reportedly kept her from having any outside contact. She was previously allowed one phone call a month.

As of yet, the majority of Saudi Arabian and Egyptian officials have remained tight-lipped on Wafa’s case, most likely due to the strained political relationship between the two countries, according to the LA Times. Bad blood was created back in April when hundreds of Egyptians protested for the release of Ahmed Al-Gizawi, an Egyptian lawyer arrested on drug charges, outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Cairo.

Now read about Saudi Arabia’s women-only cities >

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