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NEWS Saudi Arabia abolishes death sentence

Saudi Arabia has abolished the death sentence on individuals who committed crimes while still minors.

The state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) disclosed this in a statement, citing a royal decree by King Salman, on Sunday.

In its latest annual report earlier this month, Amnesty International rated Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s biggest executioners after Iran and China.

“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,” HRC President Awwad Alawwad said in the statement on Sunday, according to Al Jazeera.

“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,” Alawwad said.

According to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia executed 184 people in 2019 and these people included at least one person charged with a crime committed as a minor.

Sunday’s announcement came just two days after the kingdom abolished flogging as a form of punishment.

The country’s Supreme Court made the announcement on Saturday.

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