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Wednesday May 20 2020

Saudi Arabia imposes fines, imprisonment or both as replacement for flogging

In April, a Saudi royal decree also ended the death penalty for those convicted of crimes carried out when they were minors. Image: AFP

Saudi Ministry of Justice on Wednesday announced it fines, imprisonment or both will now replace flogging as a form of punishment in the kingdom.

The move followed the kingdom's recent decision to abolish the oldest form of punishment which was applicable to penalise a number of crimes in the country.

Taking to Twitter, the ministry said that the supreme judicial council abolished flogging as punishment, and fines, imprisonment or both will be some of the alternative sentences to replace flogging.

"Prison or fines or both will be some of the alternative sentences to replace flogging. Courts will hear and evaluate cases and make most sound decisions regarding each case," read the tweet.

Also read: Saudi Arabia to abolish flogging as form of punishment

Flogging, which falls under the category of Ta’zir, means punishment dispensed at the discretion of the judiciary or leadership for crimes where punishments are not specified in the two main sources of the Shariah law: Holy Quran or the Hadith.

"The decision is an extension of the human rights reforms introduced under the direction of King Salman and the direct supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman," the document released by the Kingdom’s top court read.

"This reform is a momentous step forward in Saudi Arabia's human rights agenda, and merely one of many recent reforms in the Kingdom," the president of the state-backed Human Rights Commission (HRC) Awwad Lawanda told Reuters.

Other forms of corporal punishment, such as amputation for theft or beheading for murder and terrorism offences, have not yet been abolished.