Amnesty International urged Saudi authorities on Friday not to medically paralyse a man in retribution for similar injuries he allegedly caused during a fight.
The London-based group quoted reports that a court in the northwestern town of Tabuk had approached a number of hospitals to ask if they could cut the man?s spinal cord in retribution, as requested by the victim.
"We urge the Saudi Arabian authorities not to carry out such a punishment, which amounts to nothing less than torture. While those guilty of a crime should be held accountable, intentionally paralysing a man in this way would constitute torture, and be a breach of its international human rights obligations," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, acting director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.
One hospital reportedly said it would be possible to medically administer the injury at the same place on the spinal cord as the damage the man allegedly caused his victim using a cleaver during a fight more than two years ago.
The court might decide not to impose the paralysis punishment and could instead sentence the man to imprisonment, financial compensation, or flogging.
The man, whose name has not been made public, has already been sentenced to seven months imprisonment for the offence. Amnesty said it had information that he was convicted and sentenced in a trial in which he had no legal assistance.
Saudi Arabia regularly sentences people to various forms of corporal punishment.