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Judicial CP - February 2007

Corpun file 18937


Gulf News, Dubai, 10 February 2007

Lashing 'is meant to be a deterrent, not torture'

By Bassam Za'za'
Staff Reporter

Dubai: Whipping under Sharia law for immoral acts is a deterrent punishment and should not be torture, trial lawyers here said.

A man committing adultery should be lashed, but the whipping should not be so intense that he bleeds, lawyers said.

The issue was raised recently when a court in one of the Northern Emirates ordered an Arab engineer to be whipped 80 times. He was also fined for drinking after he was caught with a woman who was not his wife. The non-Muslim woman was fined Dh3,500.

The man bled during the lashing, his lawyer said. "My client might consider taking legal action against the man who whipped him because he bled. This should not have happened. It is true my client was being punished for a wrongdoing, according to the Sharia."


Advocate Saif Al Mutawa'a said the punishment of whipping is to ensure the wrongdoer knows of his crime. "Lashing is aimed at disciplining the offender and not to take vengeance," he said.

"If the convict's skin is sensitive and bleeds while being lashed, then the person executing the punishment is supposed to stop until the person's back has healed," he said. But lawyer Mohammad Al Redha said the person who bleeds while he was whipped does not have the right to sue the person executing the whipping, "unless it was proven that the lasher used excessive force," he said. "Then the lasher could be subject to a criminal or civil lawsuit."

Renowned Muslim scholar Dr Ahmad Abdul Aziz Al Haddad of Dubai Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Works, said: "Lashing is a punishment according to the Sharia law. The lashing should be executed moderately and not with force or with a thick whip. The person being whipped should not bleed."

He said the person executing the whipping should not take his arm back and lash with force.

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