Saudi Arabia Ends Death Penalty for Minors and Floggings

By Associated Press |

FILE- Saudi Arabia’s King Salman attends the official welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Riyadh. Salman ordered an end to the death penalty for crimes committed by individuals when they were minors.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered an end to the death penalty for crimes committed by minors, according to a statement Sunday by a top official.

The decision comes on the heels of another ordering judges to end the practice of flogging, replacing it with jail time, fines or community service and bringing one of the kingdom’s most controversial forms of public punishment to a close.

King Salman’s son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is seen as the force behind the kingdom’s loosening of restrictions and its pivot away from ultraconservative interpretations of Islamic law known as Wahhabism, which many in the country still closely adhere to.

The crown prince has sought to modernize the country, attract foreign investment and revamp Saudi Arabia’s reputation globally. He’s also overseen a parallel crackdown on liberals, women’s rights activists, writers, moderate clerics and reformers. The 2018 killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey by agents who worked for the crown prince drew sharp criticism internationally.

The latest royal decree by King Salman could spare the death penalty for at least six men from the country’s minority Shiite community who allegedly committed crimes while under the age of 18, including Ali al-Nimr, who had participated in anti-government protests. Such activity carries terrorism-related charges in the kingdom for disturbing order and disobeying the ruler.

In a document seen by The Associated Press, the royal decree orders prosecutors to review cases and drAop punishments for those who’ve already served the maximum 10 years.

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About Cholo Brooks 12226 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.