Jordanian boy suffers horrific injuries in revenge attack

The attack took place in the city of Zarqa, which is in the east of Amman. (AFP)
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Updated 15 October 2020

Jordanian boy suffers horrific injuries in revenge attack

  • King Abdullah II orders that the boy be treated at top hospital, calls on police to pursue the perpetrators

AMMAN: A 16-year-old Jordanian boy has lost both of his hands and an eye in a revenge attack by a criminal gang that targeted his father in the industrial city of Zarqa in Jordan.

A video of the victim has gone viral, causing public outrage. King Abdullah II has taken a personal interest in the case and requested that the boy be treated at the King Hussein Medical Center. He also called on police to pursue the perpetrators.

Queen Rania has also tweeted about the case. “How do we replace for you what the criminals took away? How do we reunite your mother’s heart and those of your family? How do we protect our children from those who are not being deterred? This is a heinous crime. Our hearts are with you. I add my voice for the perpetrators facing the most severe punishment,” she said.

Amer Sartawi, spokesman of the Jordanian police, told Arab News that the attacker and five members of his gang were apprehended and will be tried in the state security court. “A special unit worked on the case and was able to arrest the lead attacker and five of his cohorts. Two pieces of weapons and sharp objects that were used in the crime were confiscated. Further investigation will determine if there are other accomplices,” he said.

Mahmmoud Zawahreh, director of Naya Community Center in Zarqa, told Arab News that the filming and distribution of the video was as ugly as the crime itself. “This crime reflects a moral low of humanity and a sign of the increase of the culture of violence in recent years in our society.”

Zawahreh, a youth activist, said that while financial losses can be replenished, moral losses will be long-lasting. “We are suffering from a moral loss that will not be easily replaced. We need to have a thorough study of how to deter such morally reprehensible crimes in the future.”

Jordan’s police force also arrested a person charged with filming and distributing the video of the victim’s injuries. 

He is being held in violation of Article 11 of the Cybercrime law, which prohibits violating the privacy of children.

Taghrid Doghmi, director of the Wae’e Center for Human Rights Training, told Arab News that the usual punishment in civil courts for kidnapping and causing permanent harm is a 10 year prison sentence. Public anger expressed on social media has led to calls for capital punishment and life imprisonment for the attackers.

Sartawi said that the state security court will charge the accused with terrorizing the public. He added that, if convicted, the penalty for the charged crimes will be a lifetime in jail for the perpetrators. The lead criminal has 172 prior convictions, police said.

Doghmi supported the arrest of the person who took the video, saying that the distribution of the clip is a clear crime according to Jordanian law. “Even if the victim or his family agreed to the filming, this is still a crime because of the age of the victim.”

Muath Momani, director of Lawyers Without Borders, told Arab News that the entire penal code must be revised. “We must think long and hard about how to deal with cases like this with a mix of direct incarceration and social rehabilitation taken into consideration, to ensure that such crimes are not repeated.”

Kuwait’s new emir calls for national unity ahead of elections

Updated 20 sec ago

Kuwait’s new emir calls for national unity ahead of elections

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah called on Tuesday for national unity to meet challenges facing the Gulf state, in a speech to lawmakers ahead of elections on Dec. 5.
The parliamentary elections come at a time when the wealthy OPEC member is facing a liquidity crisis caused by low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic against the backdrop of continued tensions between larger neighbors Saudi Arabia and Iran.
“National unity has proven to be our strongest weapon in facing challenges, dangers and crises,” said the emir, who assumed power last month on the death of the previous ruler.
Frequent clashes between the cabinet and parliament have led to successive government reshuffles and dissolutions of parliament, hindering investment and reform efforts. The outspoken assembly, the Gulf’s oldest legislature, can block bills and question ministers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, also addressing the opening of a supplementary legislative session, called for greater efforts to “diversify revenue sources and rationalize spending and consumption ... without detriment to citizens” in the cradle-to-grave welfare state.
He said the government was seeking more sustainable tools to finance the budget, in which public sector salaries and subsidies accounted for 71% of spending for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
The nearly $140 billion economy is facing a yawning deficit of $46 billion this year. A priority will be overcoming legislative gridlock on a bill that would allow Kuwait to tap international debt markets.
Lawmakers opposed to the debt law have called for clarity on government plans to reduce reliance on oil exports, which accounted for 89% of revenues in the last fiscal year.
The emir is expected to maintain oil and investment policy and a balanced foreign policy that strove for Arab unity.
In his speech, the premier said Kuwait would continue mediation efforts to end a Gulf dispute that has seen Saudi Arabia and its allies boycott Qatar since mid-2017. He reiterated his country’s support for Palestinians’ rights.