A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to be medically paralyzed unless he can raise 1 million Saudi Riyal (almost $267,000) to pay a man he stabbed in the back.
When he was 14, Ali al-Khawahir stabbed his friend in the back, paralyzing the victim. The assault earned al-Khawahir a spot in jail -- a spot he's occupied for the last 10 years, the Saudi Gazette reports. Now 24, al-Khawahir either has to pay the victim for forgiveness or have his spinal cord cut, as eye-for-an-eye justice.
Al-Khawahir had originally been expected to pay 2 million Riyal (more than $500,000), but the victim halved the amount after it became clear the sum was too high.
In a translation provided by Reuters, al-Khawahir's mother told the Arabic language al-Hayat daily that she agreed the victim deserved compensation, "but we don't have even a tenth of this sum."
The punishment follows the Islamic principle of "qisas." In a statement issued Tuesday, Amnesty International likened al-Khawahir's paralysis punishment to torture.
"That such a punishment might be implemented is utterly shocking, even in a context where flogging is frequently imposed as a punishment for some offences, as happens in Saudi Arabia," Ann Harrison, the group's Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, said.