'I was caned
in Saudi Arabia!'
received 75 lashes
Westerners were horrified when English nurse Lucille
McLauchlan was recently sentenced to 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia, and outraged British
leaders demanded that the harsh punishment be called off. But Lucille -- who was found
guilty of being an accessory in the murder of fellow nurse Yvonne Gilford -- is not the
first Western woman to be publicly flogged in the Moslem country. Danielle Pantinella of
East Orange, New Jersey, went through the same painful and demeaning experience when she
received a dose of Islamic "justice" there in 1989. Here, exclusively for Weekly
World News readers, is Danielle's chilling account of her horrific ordeal:
"For the love of Allah, please stop! Please
don't whip me again!"
Tears streaming down my cheeks, my voice quaking in
craven terror, I let out that pitiful cry as the Saudi guard raised the bamboo cane high
above his head and prepared to bring it down on my back for the 50th time.
My body ached from the lashes that had bitten into
my bare flesh, and I was woozy from pain. But when I heard the jeering crowd roar in
approval, I knew my captors would show no mercy.
As I heard the awful sound of the cane whistling
through the air once again, I passed out. And in that moment of darkness my mind drifted
back to the day when the nightmare had begun.
At the time I was a naive 18-year-old college
student visiting Saudi Arabia. I was having a ball, but was running low on cash. I
wandered into a store in the capital, Riyadh -- where I made the biggest mistake of my
life. I tried to sneak off with a bag of potato chips I hadn't paid for and the owner
spotted me. He promptly called the police and the next thing I knew I was under arrest!
I was thrown in a jail cell in the police station.
Later, a judge sentenced me to be flogged 75 times
The next morning I was loaded into a truck with six
guards, who drove me to the market square.
To my horror, they ordered me to unbutton the back
of my prison smock, then bend over a chair they'd brought along. Two guards held my hands
to keep me in place. Adding to my humiliation, hundreds of shoppers had gathered around to
I looked back over my shoulder -- and saw that one
of the other guards had raised a bamboo cane and was about to bring it down. I closed my
eyes and braced myself.
Then I felt a sharp, stinging pain in my back, as if
I'd been stabbed by a knife. I winced and tears began to roll down my cheeks, but I was
stubbornly determined I wouldn't give the onlookers the satisfaction of hearing me scream.
One after another, the blows rained down across my
back and buttocks, in a crisscrossing pattern. And every time the last made contact, the
crowd shouted in delight. I heard one woman cry out, "Give the wicked infidel what
Finally I couldn't hold back. I began to howl in
agony and beg for mercy -- then collapsed.
When I regained consciousness hours later, I was
back in my bunk in the jail cell, my back and buttocks covered with dozens of red welts. I
was released from prison -- and you can bet I hopped on the first plane back to the U.S!
for stealing a bag of potato chips!
WEEKLY WORLD NEWS,
November 25, 1997