by Rachel Ogbu
A man in Saudi Arabia has received a sentence to be paralysed from the waist down.
24-year-old Ali al-Khawahir who has already spent 10 years in jail is to have his spinal cord cut and left paralysed as punishment for stabbing and paralysing a childhood friend when he was just 14.
Unless he can raise £177,000 “blood money,” he would have to undergo the surgery according to the sharia law court but the verdict sparked an outrage from Amnesty International calling it a form of torture and against medical ethics.
Ann Harrison from Amnesty International said paralysing a person as punishment for a crime would be torture.
“It is time the authorities in Saudi Arabia start respecting their international legal obligations and remove these terrible punishments from the law,” she said.
The Foreign Office has also called for the sentence to be raised. “We urge the Saudi Arabian authorities not to carry out this grotesque punishment.
“Such practices are prohibited under international law and have no place in any society,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.
The Mirror reports:
Saudi courts regularly sentence people to forms of corporal punishment, according to the charity.
In retribution cases, the victim can demand the punishment be carried out, request financial compensation or grant a conditional or unconditional pardon.
Saudi courts have in the past ordered tooth extraction, flogging, amputations and blinding.
Flogging is mandatory for a number of offences and can also be imposed at the discretion of judges as an alternative or in addition to other punishments.
Thieves are often sentenced to amputation of the right hand, while “highway robbery” is punished by cross amputation – cutting off the right hand and the left foot.