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 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 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.