- By Ty McCormickTy McCormick is the Africa Editor at Foreign Policy. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he has reported from across much of Africa and the Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Somalia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to FP, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Geographic. He was a finalist for the 2015 Kurt Schork Memorial Award for International Journalism. Ty received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a master’s from the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon Scholar. He received a second master's degree from the Queen's University Belfast as a George J. Mitchell Scholar. In a previous life, Ty was a semi-professional baseball player in Florida, where he once blew a save against the Australian national team by walking three consecutive batters and then allowing a game-winning hit up the middle (he became a journalist soon thereafter.)
It occurred to me that I perhaps pick on Saudi Arabia unfairly on this blog, having previously harped on its nasty habit of beheading and crucifying convicts (now apparently imperiled by a dearth of qualified swordsmen) as well as its record of flogging and executing blasphemers. But then I ran across this story about Ali Al-Khawahir, a Saudi Arabian 20-something who has been sentenced to surgical paralysis for his role in a stabbing 10 years ago, and I realized it’s the Saudi government that bring this upon itself.
Amnesty International has more:
Recent reports in Saudi Arabian media have brought to light the case of 24-year-old Ali al-Khawahir, who was reportedly sentenced to qisas (retribution) in the town of Al-Ahsa and could be paralysed from the waist down unless he pays one million Saudi riyals –US$ 270,000 — in compensation to the victim.
Ali al-Khawahir had allegedly stabbed his friend in the back, rendering him paralysed from the waist down in or around 2003. Ali al-Khawahir was 14 years’ old at the time.
Other "eye-for-an-eye" punishments reportedly carried out by Saudi Arabia include tooth extraction, eye-gouging, and, of course, death, according to Amnesty International. But paralysis breaks new ground for insensitivity, even in the gruesome world of Saudi Arabian criminal justice.