Saudi Arabia ends executions for crimes committed by minors

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Riyadh, April 27 2020 - Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the death penalty on people who committed crimes while still minors, the country's Human Rights Commission has said.

The announcement on Sunday, citing a royal decree by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, came two days after the country said it would ban flogging, the BBC reported.

In a statement, Awwad Alawwad, president of the state-backed Commission, said a royal decree had replaced executions in cases where crimes were committed by minors with a maximum penalty of 10 years in a juvenile detention centre.

"The decree helps us in establishing a more modern penal code," the BBC quoted Alawwad as saying in the statement.

It was unclear when the decision, which was not immediately carried on state media, would come into effect.

The Kingdom's human rights record has remained under intense scrutiny, despite recent changes, following the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, while many civil rights and women's rights activists remain in prison, the BBC report said.

Las week, the most prominent Saudi human rights campaigner died in jail after a stroke which fellow activists have said was due to medical neglect by the authorities.

IANS