One step forward, too many steps back to count, and heartbreaking

On Monday a judge in Dubai's Sharia court ordered a 27-year-old woman from Lebanon to pay diyya, or blood money, for the death of her unborn child. She was nine months pregnant and driving when she got into an accident last fall, one that apparently severed the umbilical cord of the fetus. The judge ruled that the woman did not take proper care of her unborn child. In addition to the diyya, which was Dh20,000, or more than $6,000 Cdn, she was fined Dh1,000, or almost $320. The diyya is to be deposited with the court until the relatives of the baby - I am assuming the father's side - file a civil case with Sharia court to claim it.

A legal consultant in the UAE said there was a law establishing legal diyyah in the accidental death of a fetus, requiring it to be 10% of the regular amount of Dh200,000; it has just not been tested before.

A traffic prosecutor went on to caution that heavily pregnant women should avoid driving to protect their unborn babies.

Last month the UAE's 16 Supreme Court judges recommended diyyah be equal for men and women. Although it was equal in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras al Khaimah, the rest of the country required payments for men that were twice that for women.


Sydney said…
This is appalling. I saw this story on the National’s site yesterday and it’s unbelievable to me. In America, taking care in traffic includes leaving enough room between yourself and the car in front of you so that if, as in this woman’s case, you must brake quickly, you don’t hit the car in front of you. She did that. She didn’t run into that car, someone else ran into her. Someone else did not “take care” while driving. Yet she was not only cited as responsible for the accident, but is now forced to pay for her bereavement. As a mother, this breaks my heart, but also fires me up. This country can be so backwards and barbaric.
Trish said…
That is very very sad. I am sure she feels terribly enough without being punished further. Poor thing.
Heather Jane said…
Unreal. I hope this story receives widespread publicity.

What can we do elsewhere?
Graeme Baker said…
Barbaric. That's the word I was looking for.

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