Saudi Arabia halts executions of those committing crimes as minors: statement

The individual will receive prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in juvenile detention facility


Reuters April 26, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the death sentence on individuals who committed crimes while still minors, the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) said in a statement, citing a royal decree by King Salman.

“The decree means that any individuals who received a death sentence for crimes committed while he or she is a minor can no longer face execution. Instead, the individual will receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile detention facility,” HRC President Awwad Alawwad said in the statement.

'Saudi Arabia eliminates flogging as form of punishment'

On Friday, the kingdom eliminated flogging as a form of punishment, according to a document from the country’s top court seen by Reuters.

The decision will see the punishment replaced by imprisonment or fines.

“The decision is an extension of the human rights reforms introduced under the direction of King Salman and the direct supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman,” the document said.

Flogging has been applied to punish a variety of crimes in Saudi Arabia.

Other forms of corporal punishment, such as amputation for theft or beheading for murder and terrorism offences, have not yet been outlawed.

“This is a welcome change but it should have happened years ago,” said Adam Coogle, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch.

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