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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 29, 2014 -- Updated 0544 GMT (1344 HKT)
The missing AirAsia jet probably crashed into the sea, Indonesia's top rescue official said Monday, citing radar data from the plane's last contact.
December 29, 2014 -- Updated 0726 GMT (1526 HKT)
Here are four ways the two incidents appear to differ.
December 29, 2014 -- Updated 0748 GMT (1548 HKT)
Hundreds of passengers have endured a freezing night on a ferry, more than 24 hours after a fire broke out on the vessel in the Adriatic Sea.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.