Real Clear World Reports on the Brutal Tribal Justice of Saudi Arabia

It may sound out-worlds, out-dated and unreal to readers, but in May 2013 and not the ancient past, a Saudi Arabian court ordered the surgical paralysation of a Saudi citizen, aged 24. The accused, Ali al-Khawahir, allegedly committed a crime ten years before the sentence was handed over during which his victim was paralyzed. This is something the Western world definitely does not agree with as it is cruel and unusual; eye for an eye is typical in tribal justice.
An argument between two teenagers and a stabbing left the victim paralyzed and as a result the Sharia courts decided the punishment must fit the crime. Eye gouging, stoning to death, flogging and beheading are popular tribal justice methods used among tribal people. Whether the Western world agrees with it or not, it is the tribal and religious structure upon which the tribal justice and law enforcement of Saudi Arabia is based. Saudi Arabia is a theocracy and rulers are responsible in application of Islamic Law, but justice revolves around money and power in Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud protects religious and tribal values with a firm hand.
The Mutawayyin as the enforcers of law are known ensure implementation of Islamic values. Apart from a few defined crimes, a Saudi judge has the power and freedom to implement a punishment of an accused in accordance with their belief. Money plays a very big factor in alternative to punishment and to avoid bad blood between different tribes and communities. Extremely high amounts of cash are to be paid to a victim’s family from an accused’s family if they do not wish to take the punishment. The amounts are usually unaffordable, but the families who can afford the money to be paid earn great respect in tribes and communities as they are classified as intelligent and active.

Recent Post

The Need For Tribal Justice

Tribal justice refers to the system of dispensing justice to the tribal group. On many occasions, we can see that tribal people are often met out injustice as they belong to a class of lesser privileged people. However, owing to the laws of equality, which states that all men are equal in the eyes of law, it is absolutely mandatory that tribal justice be met… more

Tribal Court Assistance Program

BJA’s Tribal Courts Assistance Program (TCAP) is one of the U.S. Department of  Justice’s primary initiatives for providing court-related support to tribal justice systems. Since fiscal year (FY) 1999, BJA has awarded 259 grants to federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native communities through a highly competitive process. TCAP’s goal is to develop new tribal courts, improve the operations of existing tribal courts, and provide… more