Tuesday, December 27, 2005

An Eye for an Eye and the Republic

Amnesty International (via sepiamutiny.com):

SAUDI ARABIA Puthen Veetil Abdul Latheef Noushad (m), Indian national

Puthen Veetil Abdul Latheef Noushad has reportedly been sentenced to have an eye removed. The sentence is said to have been passed to a higher court and if upheld, could be inflicted at any time.

According to press reports, the sentence is punishment for partially blinding another man during a fight in April 2003. He was apparently working at a petrol station in the city of Dammam, in the eastern region when he had an argument with a customer over payment. A fight broke out which left the other man with partial loss of sight. Puthen Veetil Abdul Latheef Noushad said that he was acting in self defence. He is detained in al-Dammam prison, Dammam.

The injured man is said to have been given the option of pardoning Puthen Veetil Abdul Latheef Noushad in exchange for financial compensation from his sponsor, but refused.

Interestingly, the Republic Day celebrations in India on January 26, 2006 will have as special guest the King of Saudi Arabia! Saudi Arabia is about as far from a republic as one can find in the world these days. Ah, the power that comes with sitting on top of a petroleum pool!