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Form of corporal penalty will be changed by prison terms, fines or a mix of both

Saudi Arabia is ending flogging as a kind of penalty, according to a file from the kingdom’s leading court.

The choice by the basic commission for the supreme court, taken at some point this month, will indicate the penalty will be changed by jail sentences, fines or a mix of both.

“The choice is an extension of the human rights reforms presented under the instructions of King Salman and the direct guidance of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman,” the file stated.

Flogging has actually been used to penalize a range of criminal offenses in Saudi Arabia. Without a codified system of law to choose the texts comprising sharia, or Islamic law, specific judges have the latitude to come and translate spiritual texts up with their own sentences.

Rights groups have actually recorded previous cases in which Saudi judges have actually sentenced wrongdoers to flogging for a variety of offenses, consisting of public intoxication, harrassment and adulterous sex.

“This reform is a memorable advance in Saudi Arabia’s human rights program, and simply among lots of current reforms in the kingdom,” stated Awwad Alawwad, the president of the state-backed Human Rights Commission.

Other types of corporal and capital penalty, such as amputation for theft or beheading for murder and terrorism offenses, have actually not yet been banned.

“This is a welcome modification however it ought to have occurred years earlier,” stated Adam Coogle of Human Rights Watch . “There’s absolutely nothing now standing in the method of Saudi Arabia reforming its unjust judicial system.”

The Saudi supreme court stated the current reform was meant to “bring the kingdom into line with global human rights standards versus corporal penalty”.

The most prominent circumstances of flogging in the last few years held true of Saudi blog writer Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes in 2014 for “insulting” Islam.He was granted the European parliament’s Sakharov human rights reward the following year.The abolition of corporal penalty in Saudi Arabia comes simply days after the kingdom’s human rights record was once again in the spotlight after news of the death from a stroke in custody of leading activist Abdullah al-Hamid .

Hamid was an establishing member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (Acpra) and was sentenced to 11 years in prison in March 2013, advocates said.He was founded guilty on several charges, consisting of “breaking obligation” to the Saudi ruler, “prompting condition” and looking for to interfere with state security, Amnesty International said.Criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record has actually grown given that King Salman called his boy, Mohammed, crown prince and successor to the throne in June 2017. The October 2018 murder of singing critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the increased repression of dissidents in the house have actually eclipsed the prince’s promise to modernise the economy and society.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/25/saudi-arabia-to-end-flogging-as-a-form-of-punishment