Saudi Arabia officials announced that a convicted man would be paralyzed as part of his sentence for a crime he committed 10 years previously. The man, Ali al-Khawahir is 24 years of age and committed the crime at the age of 14. For the past 10 years, he has been in prison.
Khawahir was found guilty of stabling a childhood friend and as a result, his friend became paralyzed from the waist down. Khawahir was thus sentenced to Qisas, which is a type of retribution that says the victim of a crime can demand that the offender receive a similar punishment that the offender caused the victim, in this case, paralysis.
Qisas is a form of sentencing that follows Islamic Sharia Law in Saudi Arabia using the mindset of “an eye for an eye,” for many of the crimes that take place in the OPEC nation.
Nevertheless, the offender is allowed via the system to pay to have their punishment cancelled if they can compensate the victim with an amount the court has set. In this case, the court set the amount at the equivalent of $258,000.
The international community has condemned the sentencing with some calling it barbaric and grotesque punishment. They say that these forms of law are outlawed by international law and are not to be used in today’s society.
Flogging has been used for many offenses in Saudi Arabia, while the court system has also used amputation for crimes like theft. The system also allows for sentences of cross amputation where the left foot and the right hand are amputated for crimes such as highway robbery.