After Flogging, Saudi Arabia Now Ends Death Penalty For Minors

King Salman of Saudia Arabia - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: After putting an end to the practice of flogging, Saudi Arabia de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered an end to the death penalty for crimes committed by minors. The reforms are seen part of the King's way to modernise the ultra-conservative Kingdom which still follows the fundamentalist strain of Wahhabi Islam.

Human Rights Commission president Awwad Alawwad said in a statement, citing a royal decree, said, "Instead, the individual will receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile detention facility," an international news agency reported.

"This is an important day for Saudi Arabia," said Alawwad. "The decree helps us in establishing a more modern penal code," he said.

It is expected that the new decree will spare the lives of at least six men from the minority Shiite community who are on death row, accused of taking part in the Arab Springs movement while they were below the 18 years.

Human Rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have severely criticised the death penalty raising concerns about the fairness of trials. According to official data, Saudi Arabia executed at least 187 people in 2019, the highest since 1995 when 195 people were put to death. Twelve people were executed since January 12.

On Saturday, the kingdom ordered to end the practise of flogging, which was replaced with jail time, fines or community service. Flogging is the act of beating the human body with special instruments such as whips, lashes, rods, switches, the cat o' nine tails, the sjambok, the knout, etc.

This decision was taken sometime this month by the General commission for the Supreme Court.

"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 Bil Salman," the document said. In the recent years, the most high-profile instance of flogging was the case of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes in 2014 on charges of "insulting" Islam.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia To End Flogging As Form Of Punishment

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