Saudi Arabia

Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was involved in a fight over two years ago. He was left paralyzed by a meat cleaver and lost his left foot. His attacker received only 14 months jail time, was released after 7 months and is currently teaching school.

Now al-Mutairi is seeking personal justice by asking the courts to have his attacker paralyzed as well. A Saudi judge has queried hospitals about the possibility.

Abdul Aziz Al Mutairi Seeks Paralysis Punishment For Man That Paralyzed Him

A Saudi judge identified as Saoud bin Suleiman al-Youssef has raised the ire of Amnesty International after allegedly checking out the possibility of humanely paralyzing a convicted criminal. One hospital has said it could be done, but would need to be carried out elsewhere. Another hospital refused, stating they would not inflict harm.

Under Islamic law, a victim is allowed to ask for equivalent punishment for his attacker. An eye for eye, tooth for a tooth, spine for a spine etc.

As recently as 2005, a man had his teeth removed by a dentist after having knocked out another man’s teeth.

Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi has the full support of his 27 yearl old brother, Khaled al-Mutairi, who explained “We are asking for our legal right under Islamic law. There is no better word than God’s word – an eye for an eye.”

Islamic law applied in Saudi Arabia allows defendants to ask for a similar punishment for harms inflicted on them. Cutting off the hands of thieves, for example, is common.

Under the law, the victim can receive a blood money to settle the case.

Khaled al-Mutairi said his family is not interested in blood money, and would be ready to send the attacker abroad to perform the operation if it were not possible in the kingdom.

Obviously, the brother’s really want the paralysis punishment for the attacker—and I can understand that completely. What seems to have angered the human rights activists is the ‘paralyzing’ request—they are all too familiar with thieves losing hands and other methods of what they deem barbaric and antiquated punishment.

Amnesty International’s Lamri Chirouf stated:

“We have also had cases of people sentenced to blindness because they have caused the blindness of another person. But never anything involving a spinal cord.”

I can appreciate peoples outage over something so seemingly vengeful, but is it? If you are of a religion that believes in an eye for eye, wouldn’t you want to see that carried out? I’m not talking about being cruel, inhumane or torturing someone. These kinds of punishments are carried out in hospitals, with anesthesia. The criminals are shown far more mercy than their victims were.

I am grateful for human rights groups and all the good they do—they have worked tirelessly to end the sadistic and barbaric act of ‘stoning, among other things. However, when it comes to something like this, where a victim does have the legal right to request the same damage be done to his attacker, perhaps they should leave it alone.

I find it admirable that the Saudi’s show more concern for victim’s than criminals. We don’t—our society in the U.S. thinks it can fix everyone, and we play a catch and release game with our ‘bad’ guys. Lock ‘em up, let ‘em loose— so they can harm someone else. We do it over and over again. Hell, we aren’t even allowed to hurt anyone’s feelings anymore, let alone physically harm them. Our crime rate is the worst of the worst, so who are we to tell other countries how to handle their own crime and punishment?

Yes, there’s a time to throw in our 2 cents, but I don’t think this is one of them. Abdul Aziz Al Mutairi is paralyzed, if he chooses the same to happen to his perpetrator, so be it, as long as it’s done humanely. I’m not saying this to be cruel, I simply feel compelled to side with all victims of crime.

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