Saudi Arabia abolishes death sentence for convicts who commit crimes as minors

April 26, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the capital punishment for individuals who had committed crimes as minors, Okaz Arabic daily has learned from reliable sources. A minor is a person under 18 years of age.

The President of the Human Rights Commission Awwad Alawwad welcomed the royal decree ending the application of the death penalty on individuals convicted of crimes committed while they were minors.

"This is an important day for Saudi Arabia and it was made possible by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman," Alawwad said.

"The decree helps us in establishing a more modern penal code, and demonstrates the Kingdom's commitment to following through on key reforms across all sectors of our country as part of Vision 2030, directly supervised by the Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman."

Alawwad noted that the announcement comes just days after Saudi Arabia effectively ended the practice of flogging as a criminal punishment.

He said the two decisions reflect how Saudi Arabia is forging ahead in its realization of critical human rights reforms even amid the hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and societal measures adopted to prevent its spread.

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. "More reforms are coming," Alawwad said.

"We are confident that Saudi Arabia will live up to its objectives in creating better quality of life for all of its citizens and residents as part of the continuous stream of reforms provided by Vision 2030, under the leadership of King Salman and the Crown Prince."

April 26, 2020
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