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Thu 11 Feb 2010 07:46 AM

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Saudi begins blood money revaluation

Saudi Arabia price-checks camels as it updates the value of blood money for victims' families.

Saudi begins blood money revaluation
CALCULATIONS: Islamic law says diyyah should be equivalent to the value of 100 camels - 80 female and 20 male.

Saudi Arabia is price-checking camels all over the Kingdom as it bids to update the value of blood money awarded to the families of murder victims.

The Supreme Judiciary Council’s value for blood money (‘diyyah’), which is paid after a conviction for semi-intentional (SR110,000 or $29,336) and unintentional murder (SR100,000 or $26,670), was last fixed in 1980, Arab News reported.

The move to re-evaluate these figures has come in the wake of huge rises in camel prices in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

The paper said that according to Islamic tradition, blood money is calculated on the basis of the market value of camels as the Shariah stipulates that a victim’s family must be compensated by giving them 100 camels — 80 female and 20 male.

The male camels should be no more than one year old, while the females should be split into four of groups of 20, the paper said. The age of the animals in the first female group should be one year, the second group two years, and so forth.

A number of camel owners told Arab News that prices today range from SR3,000 for young camels to SR20,000 for old camels, depending on the breed and gender.

Furthermore, some Islamic scholars have urged that rare breeds – some of which can cost millions of dollars – should not be incorporated into the value of diyyah, as they are too expensive for ordinary people.