Amnesty for all convicts facing flogging sentences in Saudi Arabia

In April this year, the General Commission for the Saudi Supreme Court took the landmark decision to end flogging as a form of punishment and replaced it by prison sentences, fines or of both

  
Cropped hand of man removing handcuffs. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Cropped hand of man removing handcuffs. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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RIYADH —
Saudi Arabia’s higher authorities have issued directives to pardon all those who were sentenced to flogging by all courts in the Kingdom before the abolition of flogging as a form of punishment, Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned from well-informed sources. This will be applicable to persons in various emirates of the Kingdom who face flogging sentences but the verdicts have not yet been carried out.

In April this year, the General Commission for the Saudi Supreme Court took the landmark decision to end flogging as a form of punishment and replaced it by prison sentences, fines or of both.

Subsequently, Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Supreme Judiciary Council Sheikh Walid Al-Samaani issued a circular to all courts across the Kingdom to implement the decision of the Supreme Court.

The minister cited in the circular the Supreme Court’s decision instructing all courts to pronounce jail term or fine or of both as penalties as an alternative to flogging in line with the regulations issued by the higher authorities.

The sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the new directive for general amnesty from the higher authorities has put an end to problems that are persisting in various emirates related to implementation of flogging verdicts issued before its abolition by the Supreme Court.

Earlier, flogging was ordered by courts to punish a variety of crimes in the Kingdom. There were cases under which individual judges had the latitude to interpret religious texts and come up with their own sentences.

The abolition of flogging came in the framework of restricting the judge’s authority to impose flogging as a punishment, as it was noticed that some judges had exceeded the limit of the legal and juristic texts over the past years.

 

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