Saudi Arabia is denying reports that a court in the country sentenced a man to be paralyzed after he paralyzed one of his childhood friends in 2003. The alleged sentence sparked outrage and was called “grotesque” by Britain’s Foreign Office. Amnesty International also condemned the court’s ruling and urged Saudi authorities to annul it.
Last week it was reported that Ali al-Khawahir, 24, was sentenced to Qisas, or retribution, if he was unable to pay compensation to the man he paralyzed. Under the theory of “eye for an eye,” al-Khawahir would have been paralyzed from the waist down, according to The Journal.
According to a Saudi justice ministry spokesman, the reports about the sentence are “false.” The ministry used its Twitter account to refute the news about the ruling.
“In response to reports by some media about a court sentence of paralysis for a man, the ministry clarifies that such a claim is completely false,” it said. The ministry claims that “the judge decided to dismiss demands for such a sentence.”
The ministry said that Amnesty need to “verify” its information. Amnesty also reported that a similar sentence of paralysis was given in Saudi Arabia in 2010, but it was unclear as to whether it had actually been carried out.
Saudi Arabia imposes other forms of corporal punishment such as flogging, amputation and beheading.