Middle East

Saudi Arabia denies paralysis punishment

A syringe, stock image
The law of retribution means the victim can demand his attacker suffers the same punishment as he caused

Saudi Arabia has denied reports that a court in the kingdom has ordered a punishment of paralysis for a man who caused the paralysis of a friend.

A Saudi justice ministry spokesman said the reports about the sentence were completely false.

The justice ministry said on its twitter account that the judge in the case decided to dismiss demands for such a sentence.

Reports of the sentence sparked widespread condemnation.

Amnesty International, the human rights organisation, called for the sentence to be annulled.

Britain's Foreign Office described it as "grotesque" and a spokesman insisted that such punishments were prohibited under international law.

Saudi media reports earlier said the 24-year-old man could be paralysed from the waist down if he could not pay his victim £250,000 in compensation.

Ali al-Khawahir was 14 when he stabbed a friend in the back in the Eastern Province town of al-Ahsa. He has been in prison for 10 years.

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