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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – A teenage girl has been sentenced to a 90-lash flogging and two years in prison as punishment for assaulting a teacher, a Saudi judge said in an interview published Sunday.
Human rights group Amnesty International said the assault happened after the girl was caught with a camera phone at school.
The teenager’s name was not immediately available. She could be spared with a pardon from King Abdullah, said Judge Riyadh al-Meihdib.
“The verdict was read out to her at the court and she did not object,” al-Meihdib told Al-Watan, a national Saudi daily newspaper.
He said the teacher refused to forgive the girl, who will not appeal the case. Camera phones are banned at the school.
Al-Watan quoted the school headmaster describing the girl as “about twenty” years old.
However, Amnesty said the girl is 13.
In a statement Friday, the London-based rights watchdog urged Abdullah to “intervene immediately to ensure that the flogging sentence is rescinded.”
“He must also take steps to reform Saudi Arabian law and criminal procedure to ban the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, in particular floggings of children,” Amnesty interim Secretary General Claudio Cordone said.
Judge al-Meihdib said his court will issue instructions to local authorities in Jubail to carry out the sentence within two days.
Jubail is located on the Red Sea. Its court sentenced the teenager with the harsh punishment Tuesday.