A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals whether they would punitively damage a man’s spinal cord after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, local newspapers reported today.
Saudi Arabia enforces strict sharia law and occasionally metes out punishments based on the ancient code of an eye for an eye.
Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was left paralyzed after a fight more than two years ago, and asked a judge to impose an equivalent punishment on his attacker under sharia law, reports said. The newspaper Okaz said the judge in northwestern Tabuk province, identified as Saoud bin Suleiman al-Youssef, asked at least two hospitals for a medical opinion on whether surgeons could render the attacker’s spinal cord nonfunctional.
The attacker, who was not identified, has spent seven months in jail. The reports cited the letter of response from one of the hospitals and the victim.
Two of the hospitals involved and the court were closed for the Saudi weekend beginning today and could not be reached for comment.
Okaz reported that a leading hospital in Riyadh – King Faisal specialist hospital – said that it would not do the operation. The article quoted a letter from the hospital saying “inflicting such harm is not possible”, apparently refusing on ethical grounds.
Excerpt, read more: Saudi Arabian Judge Ask Hospitals to Paralyze Man| Guardian UK