A Saudi court has ruled that a man who paralyzed his best friend should now himself be crippled in an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ punishment, the Saudi Gazette reported this week.
Ali Al-Khawahir has been in prison since stabbing his friend in the backbone 10 years ago, when he was only 14 years old. According to the Saudi Gazette, a court has ruled that the accused should now be “fully paralyzed” unless he pays the compensation demanded by the victim. Originally the victim asked for two million Saudi riyals ($448,500), but this sum has since been reduced to one million Saudi Riyals ($225,500), according to Mail Online.
It is not clear how the punishment would be carried out. However it has been speculated that the victim’s spinal cord would be severed.
The news comes one year after the Saudis began thinking about abolishing beheadings — not because they think there’s anything wrong with beheadings, you dig, but because the country is suffering from a worrisome lack of qualified swordsmen.
The oil-soaked desert kingdom beheads about 70-80 people every year. The highest-profile Saudi head removal in recent years involved a Sri Lankan maid, Rizana Nafeek, who received the death penalty for smothering a Saudi baby in her care in 2005. She maintained her innocence and explained that the infant choked to death. Early last year, despite international protests, the Saudis executed her anyway.
According to the International Business Times (IBT), Nafeek’s plight
…refocused the spotlight on the increase in cases of abuse of migrant workers, which is a disturbing phenomenon In Saudi Arabia and across the Gulf. Women in often wealthy households are confined to the family home for much of their lives, with complete authority over foreign staff, who are seldom literate and paid little. Maids often have their passports confiscated by their employers, and are treated as indentured labour.
If the domestic workers get in any kind of trouble with the law, justified or not, their legal challenges can be insurmountable. IBT claimed last year that around 50 foreign maids are on death row in Saudi Arabia. If henchmen with broadswords continue to be scarce, the inmates will probably face a firing squad instead.
If it were me, I might prefer that to being surgically paralyzed.
Do Saudi doctors swear a Hippocratic oath? Would severing a man’s spinal cord be in accordance with it? If not, the Saudi justice department could always hire Nazrul Islam, a young U.K. thug who used a knife on Cambridgeshire student Oliver Hemsley and turned him into a quadriplegic.