Saudi Arabia scraps execution for those who committed crimes as minors: Commission
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the death sentence on individuals who committed crimes while still minors, the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) said in a statement, citing a royal decree by King Salman. '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
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the death sentence on individuals who committed crimes while still minors, the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) said in a statement, citing a royal decree by King Salman.
"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.
It was not immediately clear when the decree, which was not immediately carried on state media, would take effect.
Saudi Arabia, whose human rights record came under intense international scrutiny after the murder of a prominent Saudi journalist in 2018, is one of the world's biggest executioners after Iran and China, Amnesty International said in its latest annual report.
It said the kingdom had executed 184 people in 2019, including at least one person charged with a crime committed as a minor.
"This is an important day for Saudi Arabia," Alawwad said. "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."
The announcement came just two days after the kingdom in effect scrapped the punishment of flogging, in a decision by the General Commission for the Supreme Court. The punishment will instead be replaced by prison time or fines.
Capital punishment for crimes committed by people under the age of 18 runs contrary to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Saudi Arabia has ratified.
In April 2019, the Sunni-ruled kingdom beheaded 37 men convicted of terrorism charges. The U.N. human rights chief said at the time that most of them were Shi'ites who may not have had fair trials and at least three were minors when sentenced.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a series of social and economic reforms aimed at modernising the conservative kingdom, which has no codified system of law to go with the texts making up sharia, or Islamic law.
(Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by David Clarke and Kevin Liffey)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.