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Tribune News Network
PEOPLE in Jordan are demanding tougher laws to punish the perpetrators of a brutal assault on a 16-year-old boy that caused widespread outrage across the country.
The hideous crime happened in Zarqa city, east of Amman, on Tuesday.
The teenager was brutally assaulted by a group of men who chopped off both his hands and mutilated his face, apparently in revenge for a murder allegedly committed by his father.
According to a local media outlet, which talked the victim, he was kidnapped by a 10-strong group while on his way to the market to buy bread for his mother.
The perpetrators allegedly took him to a house, where he said he was attacked with machetes. After mutilating him, the group left him there, the report said, adding that they then bagged his chopped off limbs and sent it to his mother.
The perpetrators also filmed the crime and posted it on social media. The video went viral before Jordanian authorities issued an urgent decision banning the circulation of the footage, due to the brutal scenes.
According to local media accounts, the boy was found by passers-by and was rushed to a hospital, where his condition is stated to be critical. Reports said he underwent amputation and lost one of his eyes due to the injury,
Local media said the attack was in retaliation to a murder that took place in Zarqa, allegedly committed by the victim’s father, who is currently in prison.
“We have launched an investigation to identify the suspects involved in the crime. They will be arrested and referred for Public Prosecution for legal action,” Sartawi said.
The crime prompted social media users and human rights activists to raise questions about the punishment stipulated in the Jordanian Penal Code.
A report quoting lawyer Rawan Bani Hani said, “Penal Code’s article 335 stipulates that if an act results in the severance or amputation of a limb or the loss of such a limb or the loss of one of the senses or caused bodily disfigurement which is permanent or has a permanent appearance, the perpetrator shall be punished by temporary imprisonment with hard labour for a period that does not exceed 10 years.”
Activists believe this punishment is not severe enough for such a brutal crime against a teenager and demanded it be toughened.
The Arabic hashtag (#zarqacrime) was trending in almost all Arab countries on Wednesday.
The ugliness of the crime sparked a state of turmoil in the Jordanian streets, prompting Jordan’s King Abdullah II to personally order authorities to take the strictest legal measures against the perpetrators. He has also called for providing the necessary treatment to the teenager.
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