Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Saudi Arabia: Court Orders Eye to Be Gouged Out

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia should take urgent steps to ensure that a court sentence to gouge out a migrant worker's eye is not carried out, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Greater Shari`a Court of Dammam sentenced Puthan Veettil `Abd ul-Latif Noushad, an Indian citizen, to be punished by having his right eye gouged out in retribution for his role in a brawl in April 2003 in which a Saudi citizen was injured. A court of appeal in Riyadh has reportedly merely asked whether the Saudi man would accept monetary compensation instead.

"This literal eye-for-an-eye sentence is torture masquerading as justice," said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division. "King Abdullah must prevent the imposition of corporal punishment in violation of the country's obligations under international law."

Saudi Arabia acceded to the Convention against Torture in 1997. However, Noushad’s case is the third known instance over the past year in which a Saudi court has issued a sentence of eye-gouging, Human Rights Watch said. Saudi law allows for maiming, including the severing of limbs and severe flogging, as judicial punishments.

The injured Saudi man, Nayif al-`Utaibi, has so far insisted that the sentence be carried out, refusing to pardon Noushad or accept monetary compensation. Noushad's Saudi employer, Abu Muhammad al-`Umri, has reportedly offered to pay over $25,000 in compensation. He told Human Rights Watch that he had no faith that the appeals court would overturn the verdict, and that only a pardon could save Noushad's eye unless the plaintiff decides to accept compensation.

Noushad worked at a shop near a gas station outside Dammam. One witness to the altercation between the two men told Human Rights Watch that on the morning of April 1, 2003, Noushad told `Utaibi that he would not be able to obtain a refund once he used the jumper cable he had just purchased. When `Utaibi demanded a refund after using the cable, Noushad advised him to speak to the shop owner, who was not there at the time. The witness said `Utaibi replied heatedly that he could not wait that long and lunged at Noushad. In the course of the ensuing struggle, Noushad struck `Utaibi on the head with the cable, hitting his eye. Bystanders called the police, who arrested Noushad on `Utaibi's testimony, and called an ambulance for `Utaibi.

During the trial, Noushad claimed that he was acting in self-defense and did not intend to injure `Utaibi, according to acquaintances of Noushad who are familiar with the proceedings. The witness, also a worker from India, told Human Rights Watch that the court refused to admit his testimony backing up Noushad's account.

The judge reportedly said that non-Saudis were barred from testifying in cases involving Saudis. Noushad’s Saudi employer confirmed that the judge did not fully take into account the circumstances of the brawl. Noushad did not have a lawyer during trial, but his Saudi sponsor retained legal representation for the appeals phase.

"The court's verdict virtually allows Saudi citizens to assault migrant workers with impunity," Stork said.

News of the verdict has caused a political uproar in India. On December 6, the day after the verdict was made public, the chief minister of Kerala state, Oommen Chandy, promised to raise the case with Saudi authorities. The Indian embassy in Riyadh has announced it will appeal to King Abdullah for clemency.

On September 16, 2004, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that a court in Tabuk ordered the right eye of Muhammad `Ayid Sulaiman al-Fadili al-Balawi to be gouged out, but gave him the option of paying compensation within one year. In 2001, Balawi had intervened when he saw youths pelting his brother with stones. In response, he also threw stones, hitting one youth in the eye and causing him to lose vision in one eye. Balawi helped carry the youth to the hospital. Two months before the sentence was to be carried out, he had managed to collect only 550,000 Saudi riyals (US$147,000) of the 1.4 million riyals (US$373,000) demanded by the victim. Human Rights Watch was unable to verify whether the sentence had been carried out.

Another Saudi newspaper, ArabNews, reported on December 6 that a court had recently sentenced an Egyptian man in Saudi Arabia to having his eye gouged out after he allegedly threw acid in the face of another man, who subsequently lost his eyesight.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are the only known countries that consider eye-gouging a legitimate judicial punishment. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, has stated that "any form of corporal punishment is contrary to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Source Here


Anonymous somethingsphishy said...

So, when are we going to bring the good Saudi people some democracy?

Sounds like a page right out of Husseins torture book.

Yeah, eye gouging isn't too inhumane (lol).

I bet if the Bushies weren't in bed with the Sauds, we would be in there backyard right now bringing them some good ole' fashioned democracy.

These double standards are almost comical!

December 27, 2005 5:59 pm  
Anonymous somethingsphishy said...

Oh, by the way, Hope you and your family had an excellent holiday.



December 27, 2005 6:03 pm  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

No one has brought them the Democracy you're speaking of... exactly what does this have to do with Bush? Raegan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr.......

All of them have played with the Saudis... but suddenly you think Bush should have attacked them if anyone? I'm curious to know which way you'd have it. Either Bush is doing the right thing and making a start... or he did the wrong thing, and this is just another story about another country, and has nothing to do with Bush and Iraq.

December 27, 2005 6:04 pm  
Blogger Gary Freedman said...

The U.S> government should pressure Saudi Arabia on domestic human rights issues as much as it pressures the country for military cooperation.

December 27, 2005 6:11 pm  
Anonymous somethingsphishy said...

" but suddenly you think Bush should have attacked them if anyone?"

I don't think bush should have attacked anyone. bush's major reason(keeps changing: WMD's, Al Qeada connection, Terrorism etc.) for "attacking" Iraq is too bring these people "democracy".

So why not start with your friends? The Suads happen to be Major players in that region. Couldn't they leed by example? Why can't they be that "beacon of freedom"? Why are they allowed to continue to do what we are "saving the Iraqis from"?

December 27, 2005 6:23 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

G: fifteen of the 9-11 hijakers, were from Saudi Arabia , doesnt that on its own tell you that we missed the target with Iraq

not that i would support attacking saudi , but if you were going to attack anyone then ....

The Saudi's have to much pull over the US there is no way the US would risk the flow of black gold but they certainly can be argued as being more of a danger to the world ( read 'west' ) then saddam was

Phishy , sound analysis as usual , to be honest I would go even futher and say the saudi's ARE the major player in the region and should have been the country (if any) that was put under the most pressure

and yea , i had a great christmas thanks bud , hope you and yours did too

December 27, 2005 7:48 pm  
Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

Messages from the Holy Spirit on The Holy Inheritance blog and the Christian Prophet blog are convincing me that Muslims have turned away from spiritual solutions and have turned to the cult of death and destruction to a degree that will not be tolerated. Our first step is prayer, but we must be willing to listen inside and follow the Holy Spirit's instructions when it comes to implimenting solutions.

December 27, 2005 10:28 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

and you dont think we have become the same ?

is not a stealth bomber part of the "cult of death and destruction" ?

How many recent wars (last 100 years) been started by muslims ?

How many civilians killed by muslim terrorists compared to innocent civilians killed by collatoral damage by us ?

why do you think you are any better ?

is the massacre of innocents at falluja a lesser crime then the evil act of 9/11 ?

December 27, 2005 10:49 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

and Gary , yes , excellent point , I can't see it though can you ?

December 27, 2005 10:53 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

I wonder what Bandar Bush's spin on this would be...

"exactly what does this have to do with Bush? Raegan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr.......

It has to do with continued U.S. support for the regime in Saudi Arabia.

December 28, 2005 3:33 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

LOL , he probably wouldnt shave until Bush Invaded Sheffield for making the steel that was used in the eye gouger , they are to blame . it couldnt be the repressive regime of the saudi's surely :-)

December 28, 2005 11:58 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

Dear false prophit, please, please read this and seek help.

December 29, 2005 5:06 am  
Blogger G_in_AL said...

as usual, everything is Bush's fault, and one way or another, he's just wrong. Phishy, I put it towards you that your analysis is either one, or the other, but you cant blame Bush for not acting on Saudi, and then also blame him for acting on Iraq.

By the way, I'm a Christian, and the "prophet" dude spooks me a bit, anyone else?

January 06, 2006 1:49 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

he is a freak G , he is currently claiming that the one minor who survived was saved by god

serious mental sickness

have you checked out his site ?

January 06, 2006 2:16 am  
Blogger DJEB said...

" as usual, everything is Bush's fault, and one way or another, he's just wrong."

Yee haw! Straw man fallacies are fun and easy, aren't they!

January 06, 2006 3:16 am  

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