Target: Saudi Justice Ministry
Goal: Stop authorities from punishing a prisoner by paralyzing him
Based on information provided by the Saudi Gazette, a daily newspaper printed in English, a prisoner will get the paralysis punishment if he does not come up with compensation money. The prisoner, Ali Al-Khawahir, has been imprisoned since he was 14 years old for stabbing and paralyzing his friend, who was 10 at the time. The court has demanded that Al-Khawahir pay one million Saudi Riyals, which is $266,000 to the victim, and if he cannot fulfill this requirement, he will be paralyzed as his punishment. Although Al-Khawahir did something horrible, he is paying for his actions in jail and paralyzing him would be cruel and inhumane. The Saudi Justice Ministry cannot let this kind of torture happen.
Amnesty International has reacted to the situation by stating to CNN, “paralyzing someone as punishment for a crime would be torture. That such a punishment might be implemented is utterly shocking, even in a context where flogging is frequently imposed as a punishment for some offenses, as happens in Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi Arabia does have a history of using the “eye for an eye” concept. Previous cases have revealed authorities allowing victims to administer punishments such as eye gouging and tooth extraction. All of these types of punishments are wrong.
Amnesty International added “If implemented, the paralysis sentence would contravene the U.N. Convention against Torture to which Saudi Arabia is a state party and the Principles of Medical Ethics adopted by the UN General Assembly.”
Paralyzing Al-Khawahir, regardless of any reason, is torture. However, in this nation, threatening a prisoner with paralysis is not new. According to some local media, a similar punishment might have been given to another man. Back in 2010, a 22-year-old man asked that his assailant be paralyzed as a form of punishment. The victim was paralyzed when he got into a physical altercation with the other man. The Saudi Ministry of Justice did not confirm whether or not this case was true and they have not commented on the recent news surrounding Al-Khawahir.
The Saudi Ministry of Justice cannot stay quiet forever. They must prevent authorities from paralyzing Al-Khawahir because he cannot find the means to pay the victim.
Dear Saudi Justice Ministry,
Local media in Saudi Arabia have reported that a prisoner was threatened with receiving a paralysis punishment if he does not come up with one million Saudi Riyals. The prisoner, Ali Al-Khawahir was told that he must come up with this kind of money as compensation to the victim, who Al-Khawahir paralyzed when he was 14-years-old.
Al-Khawahir’s actions are inexcusable. However, he has been in jail since his arrest and attack on his 10-year-old friend. Although compensation for the victim might be what the victim wants, if Al-Khawahir cannot find the funds, the authorities cannot simply paralyze him. Paralyzing Al-Khawahir would be inhuman and cruel.
As the Saudi Justice Ministry, this type of torture cannot be allowed. Protect Al-Khawahir from possibly being paralyzed.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: Dekoelie via Wikimedia Commons