04/09/2013 02:27 pm ET

Saudi Man Sentenced To Paralysis? Ministry Of Justice Denies Ali Al-Khawahir's Reported Punishment

The Saudi Ministry of Justice denied on Tuesday it had sentenced Ali al-Khawahir, a Saudi man, to be surgically paralyzed for his role in a crime committed a decade ago.

Earlier reports in the Saudi media indicated al-Khawahir, 24, faced the punishment as eye-for-an-eye justice. Al-Khawahir had stabbed a friend when he was 14, and the assault had left the victim paralyzed. As punishment, reports indicated, al-Khawahir could either pay the victim about $267,000 or be paralyzed from the waist down.

In a series of tweets, however, the Saudi Ministry of Justice said the judge in the case had dismissed demands for the paralysis sentence, the BBC reports.

Reuters notes that, despite denying the reports, Saudi officials have not stated what the man's actual sentence had been.

"The ministry would like to announce that this is utterly incorrect, and in fact the judicial ruling was contrary to that. The judge had shied away from demanding this punishment," read part of the statement, in a translation provided by Reuters. (See original tweets below.)

Amnesty International originally labeled the sentence "utterly shocking" and likened it to torture. According to a release from the organization, Saudi Arabia also sentenced a person to be paralyzed in 2010, though it is unclear whether or not the punishment was actually carried out.


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