EYE FOR AN EYE SAUDI JUSTICE FOR MAN WITH SEVERED SPINAL CORD – A Saudi man who was convicted in an Islamic Court for paralyzing his best friend in a knife attack and now faces having his own spinal cord severed in what Islamic doctrine terms ‘an eye for an eye’.
Saudi Arabia is well known for its ultra-conservatives Islamic laws where stealing will result in a loss of a hand while murder and rape is punished by public execution; often by the use of a sword to remove the convicted criminals head.
Some 10 years ago Ali Al-Khawahir, at just 14 years of age, stabbed his best friend in the back resulting in his friend become permanently paralyzed. After having spent 10 years in prison Ali has now been informed that his victim wants to invoke the Islamic Law for ‘any eye for an eye’ which will mean Ali’s spinal corded will be severed by surgeons, unless his is able to give his victim and family a considerable amount of compensation.
The price tag originally sought was 2 million Saudi Riyal, which is a little over US$500,000. However the victim and his family have now reduced the amount sought to 1 million Saudi Riyal and Ali’s mother is now begging people for money in order to help her raise sufficient funds to fend off such a terrible fate.
The victim, Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, who is now 22 years of age, not only lost the ability to walk but also lost a foot due to medical complications arising from his paralysis. Abdul has asked a judge in the Tabuk province, which is located in the north-western part of Saudi Arabia, to impose the ‘eye for an eye’ punishment if Ali is unable to pay the requested compensation.
While many outsiders feel that Saudi’s Islamic laws are barbaric and draconian it has to be noted that the ‘eye for an eye’ request is rarely carried out although the news has not stopped Saudi reformists from making their views known that under no circumstances should this be allow to happen.