Saudi government denies reports of paralysis punishment sentence
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1635 GMT (0035 HKT)
- The purported sentence first surfaced in local media last month
- Now, the Saudi government says reports of a paralysis sentence are "untrue"
- The judge in the case "dismissed requests for such punishment" a Saudi ministry says
- The case centered on a man convicted of stabbing and paralyzing another man
(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice is denying reports that a Saudi court sentenced a man to be surgically paralyzed as punishment for having paralyzed another man, with the ministry adding that the judge in the case had "dismissed requests for such punishment."
A series of tweets issued by the Justice Ministry admonished media outlets for having published those earlier reports, calling them "untrue." The ministry also slammed human rights organizations for having condemned Saudi Arabia based on those reports.
"We hope that everyone attempts to verify the facts and be accurate," said the ministry.
News about the case first surfaced in local Saudi media last month. The Saudi Gazette, an English-language daily, reported that Ali Al-Khawahir was 14 when he stabbed and paralyzed his best friend 10 years ago.
The newspaper added that Al-Khawahir, who has been in prison ever since, had been sentenced to be surgically paralyzed if he cannot come up with one million Saudi Riyals ($266,000) in compensation to be paid to the victim.
Rights groups were quick to condemn the reported sentence, with Amnesty International calling it "outrageous," and adding that it "should on no account be carried out."
Britian's Foreign Office also issued a statement about the reported sentence, expressing "deep concern" and calling the punishment "grotesque."
This is not the first time a "paralysis as punishment" sentence has made headlines in Saudi Arabia.
In 2010, local media reported the case of a 22-year-old man who was paralyzed in a fight, saying he had subsequently requested paralysis as punishment for the man he'd fought with.
After the initial reports, the Saudi Ministry of Justice denied that paralysis had ever been considered as punishment in that case.
Part of complete coverage on
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 2029 GMT (0429 HKT)
You -- the person now reading this story -- can help experts solve the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 0522 GMT (1322 HKT)
At least two people were killed Wednesday after a massive explosion and raging fire in Manhattan's East Harlem, authorities said.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1015 GMT (1815 HKT)
There's nothing like lying on your back and staring up at a field of glittering stars. Here's where you can go for that:
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1040 GMT (1840 HKT)
CNN's Anna Coren travels to Kerch where Russian troops are moving in.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 0854 GMT (1654 HKT)
Until clearer information comes to light, here's a summary of what we know, and what we don't.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Michael Schumacher might be in a medically induced coma but the Formula One great has shown enough "small, encouraging signs."
The Fukushima nuclear disaster changed global attitudes towards nuclear power. Explore our interactive to find out how.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
An adventurer explores Japan's abandoned sex museums -- some of the things he finds are "very, very weird."
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT)
People should demand to know how the secret drone campaign makes them safer, writes Clare Algar.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 0608 GMT (1408 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1759 GMT (0159 HKT)
A new study reveals the continent's leading tweeting cities. Explore our infographic of the results.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Why there is a troubling beauty in this series of striking images.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
This 200-year-old mechanical boy can write poems and draw pictures.
Today's five most popular stories