03/04/2013 14:09 BST | Updated 09/04/2013 11:18 BST

Saudi Arabia Man, Ali al-Khawahir, Faces Being Paralysed In 'Eye-For-An-Eye' Punishment

A Saudi Arabian man faces being deliberately paralysed in an "eye-for-an-eye" punishment for stabbing his friend in the back 10 years ago.

Ali al-Khawahir was just 14 when he attacked his friend, paralysing him from the waist down, reports the BBC.

Saudi Arabia's law of retribution, qisas, means he will face the same fate as his former friend if he cannot pay one million riyals (£250,000) in compensation.


Human rights organisation Amnesty International condemned the move. In a statement, its Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Ann Harrison said: "Paralysing 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 offences, as happens in Saudi Arabia.

"It is time the authorities in Saudi Arabia start respecting their international legal obligations and remove these terrible punishments from the law."

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Khawahir has spent the last 10 years in prison during which time his 60-year-old mother has campaigned for someone to raise the compensation needed to save her son.

She said: “Ten years have passed with hundreds of sleepless nights. My hair has become grey at a young age because of my son’s problem.

"I have been frightened to death whenever I think about my son’s fate and that he will have to be paralysed," reports the Saudi Gazette.