Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Scary Saudi Sharia Sentencing

An example of the Saudi Sharia law!

34-year old Indian national, Abdul Lateef Naushad, from Kerala had been an expatriate working in Saudi Arabia. He had a fight with a Saudi man 3 years ago. The fight resulted in an injury to the Saudi opponent. The man lost partial sight in one eye several weeks after the fight.

So, regardless of who started the fight or who was guilty or the fact that the partial loss of eyesight was several weeks after the fight, a Saudi court in Dammam decided that the Indian expatriate shall be punished for causing the injury to the Saudi. The sentence they handed down on him is one of most horrifying that anyone could imagine - poor bloke is to have one of his eyes gouged out.

Since then, there has been a diplomatic flurry with Indian diplomats appealing for clemency to save Abdul Lateef’s eye. Following the appeals, the case has now been transferred to the higher court in Riyadh.

Abdul Lateef has been sitting in prison for the last 3 years while his family including children and aged parents languish in India. Those 3 years would have been more than normal punishment by civilised standards for a case assault and battery, even assuming he had been guilty in the first place.

The Saudi bloke, probably rich as Crossus, has refused to accept any monetary settlement or pardoned the Indian despite appeals by the defendant's lawyer and his employer. In Saudi Arabia, the locals always win.