Indian appeals eye gouging sentence
THE lawyer for an Indian migrant worker sentenced to have his eye gouged out as punishment by a Saudi Arabian court said he has launched a new appeal against the verdict.
The original sentence, handed down in August, "is not definitive, the Riyadh court of appeal having not yet confirmed it", Nawaf al-Mutawa said, adding that "any recourse to (calls for) clemency" is premature.
New Delhi announced on Friday it had sent a "mercy petition" calling on Riyadh to pardon the worker, Puthen Veetil Abdul Latheef Noushad, sentenced for blinding a Saudi national in 2003.
Human Rights Watch earlier this month also called for Saudi King Abdullah to grant royal clemency.
"Such declarations make the verdict seem definitive, which is not the case," said Mr Mutawa.
Under Saudi law, if the appeals court confirms the verdict, the supreme court must then look at the verdict, which, if approved, can only be carried out following a decision by the king, Mr Mutawa said.
Noushad, 32, had been working at a petrol pump in Dammam on the Saudi east coast since 1995. He had a fight with a Saudi customer over payment in April 2003 that put him in jail.
The Saudi man later lost his eyesight, but the Indian said it was not because of the injuries he inflicted, and that he had acted in self-defence.
Noushad in 2004 filed a review petition in the Saudi Court of Appeals, which can ask a victim for a pardon, but the victim has refused to settle for monetary compensation.
More than one million people from the southern Indian state of Kerala work in the Gulf countries.
Saudi Arabia applies a strict form of Islam, which includes also meting out the death penalty for murder, rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug traf, and cutting hands for theft. Public flogging and stoning to death are the penalties for extramarital sexual relations.
Despicably barbaric. And it is absolutely remarkable how they always get away with it. How come the UN Human Rights Commission, who always makes sure to condemn Israel five times a year for mostly imaginary abuses, haven't issued a single resolution about the undisguised sadism of the Saudi Arabian legal system?