Saudi Arabia has abolished the death sentence for crimes committed by minors. The decision comes after the kingdom abolished flogging as a punishment.
Its state backed Human Rights Commission said in a statement that the latest reform would ensure that no-one who committed crimes as minors could receive the death sentence for those crimes.
“Instead, the individual will receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile detention facility,” the commission’s chairman, Awwad Alawwad, said.He further added “This is an important day for Saudi Arabia. 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 per the sources Human rights organization Amnesty International lists Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s most prolific executioners, after Iran and China. In its latest report, it said the kingdom had executed 184 people in 2019, including at least one person charged with a crime committed as a minor.
It is pertinent to mention that article 37a of Child Rights International Network,an international network (CRIN) that supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and child rights, states “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age”
Also as per Article 68, fourth paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “In any case, the death penalty may not be pronounced against a protected person who was under eighteen years of age at the time of the offence.”