Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saudi Arabia urged not to paralyze man as retribution punishment

August 23, 2010

Amnesty International on Friday urged Saudi Arabian authorities not to paralyze a man as punishment for his having paralyzed someone else, allegedly during a fight.

The Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that the judge in the case had sent letters to several hospitals in Saudi Arabia asking if they could sever a man's spinal cord, as the man he allegedly stabbed had requested and, under sharia law, was his right to seek.

But such a punishment would amount "to nothing less than torture," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, acting director of the organization's Middle East and North Africa Programme. "While those guilty of a crime should be held accountable, intentionally paralyzing a man in this way would constitute torture, and be a breach of its international human rights obligations."