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Saudi Arabia: Court Orders Eye to Be Gouged Out

Torture Sentence for Indian Migrant Worker Follows Clash With Saudi Citizen

(New York, December 9, 2005) – 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.

" This literal eye-for-an-eye sentence is torture masquerading as justice. King Abdullah must prevent the imposition of corporal punishment in violation of the country's obligations under international law. "

Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division

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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 :- http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/09/saudia12199.htm

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Saudi Arabia: Court Orders Eye to Be Gouged Out

Torture Sentence for Indian Migrant Worker Follows Clash With Saudi Citizen

(New York, December 9, 2005) –

SOURCE :- http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/09/saudia12199.htm

Now check this out my friend...

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle...nent_may270.xml

I had no problems in Saudi jail, says released Indian

(IANS)

8 May 2006

KOLLAM (Kerala) — Naushad, the Indian national who was released after a three-year-long imprisonment in Saudi Arabia for assaulting and damaging the eyes of a Saudi national, has only good words for his jailors there.

"Contrary to the stories I have heard from those who spend time in jails in India and other countries, my three years in the Dammam jail was one I would remember for the rest of my life," Naushad said.

Naushad had in April 2004 bruised the eye of a Saudi national in a scuffle after a verbal duel. Subsequently, as the Saudi lost his eyesight, Naushad was arrested and sent to jail on April 24, 2003. According to Saudi Arabian law, one of Naushad's eyes could be gouged out for 'justice'. But he was pardoned and released on April 4, 2006. Naushad recalled that his stay in jail was fine and he had no problems there at all.

"The jail compound was a huge area and had all the facilities. In one cell there are 12 rooms and in one room there are 12 prisoners, all were given a bed. ...in every room there are two air conditioners. And in every cell there is one television and we could watch all the programmes," Naushad said. He said most of the time he spent reading the Holy Quran and, unlike other jails, no work is assigned to the prisoners at all. "The prisoners either play chess, cards without any stakes or watch TV and also sit and chat. We were given good food and we could play outdoor games," he said.

"Every month every prisoner is given 50 Saudi riyals and with that we used to go to the supermarket inside the jail and buy things. We were also given a heater and were allowed to cook".

Regarding the behaviour of jail authorities, he said all of them are Saudi nationals and they treat each prisoner with dignity and respect. "The day previous to my release they gave me a send-off where a small party was held to celebrate my release," he said.

Guess what, he said these things after he reached India, where he was under no apparent pressure to praise the Saudis. Please stop your hate campaign against the Middle East/Arabs/Islam. I grew up there 18 years of my life and have lived a total of close to 21 years. Yes a lot of bs happens but it is NOT so extreme as you are trying in vain to portray.

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What's happened to my buddy, Singho? He said Mohammed's law was perfect and yet we see that gouging eyes seem to be the order of the day for this advanced system of 'law'. I read somewhere that there are different levels of financial compensation depending on whether the victim is a Muslim man/woman, Christian man/woman etc. Hardly the enlightened system of jurisprudence worthy of God!

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I fail to understand, the thread is named "for my Iranian lovers" and the article talks about Saudi Arabia. I don't understand. They're not the same country.

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."

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Guess what, he said these things after he reached India, where he was under no apparent pressure to praise the Saudis. Please stop your hate campaign against the Middle East/Arabs/Islam. I grew up there 18 years of my life and have lived a total of close to 21 years. Yes a lot of bs happens but it is NOT so extreme as you are trying in vain to portray.

Man what are you saying?? His one eye was supposed to be gouged as per saudi law, but the reason they didnt gouge out was because of the intervention of the Indian Government.

As for the Jail environment, he had a good time in the jail, i am sure he woul dhave had a better time in a US jail, it all depends on country to country so it has nothing to do with the topic.

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Man what are you saying?? His one eye was supposed to be gouged as per saudi law, but the reason they didnt gouge out was because of the intervention of the Indian Government.
Whatever it is, the end result is that he was not tortured and didn't lose his eye.

As for the Jail environment, he had a good time in the jail, i am sure he woul dhave had a better time in a US jail, it all depends on country to country so it has nothing to do with the topic.
Jail is jail, USA or Saudi Arabia. What is your point behind comparing the 2?
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Veer Mehtab Singh ji, My Dear Maharaaj , Mahapurkho Ji !

I know you want to say that Middle east is all good.. and the place you stayed was wonderfula nd i to agree to that out of the whole UAE Dubai and AbuDhabi are the onaly only good places..with full freedom and anyting u can do.

Dubai is like europe, alcohol, sex, drugs, no body stops u ... u have full religious , cultural freedoms, but dubai is not a family city u cant live with u r family itstoo expensive unless one is lucky like u.

but dont compare dubai with saudi and iran.

and gouging the eye out is their law ! so the end result might have been good, but lets pause and think how many ppl got their eyes gouged out

as for jail comparison, the victim in the article talks about how much fun he had in the jail there with free food, nice aircondition room, tv to watch .... and free salary..thats fine, thats nnothing to do with gouging eye out... so when he returned to india he was only happy about having fun in thejail

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