Saudi Arabia Has Officially Abolished Corporal Punishment For Some Crimes
The Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia has officially abolished corporal punishment for a number of crimes. This was reported on Tuesday by the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom, al Arabiya TV channel reports.
As stated in a statement issued by the Ministry, "lashings will be replaced with imprisonment or a fine, or both." The Ministry clarified that the court will independently make a decision on each such case and voice it.
However, it is stipulated that we are only talking about crimes from the category of "Tazir" in Sharia (Islamic law) - offenses related to attacks on religion, public order, morality and the interests of the individual, responsibility for which is not exactly spelled out in the Koran or hadith. One form of punishment in this category, along with the ban on wearing a turban and forcibly shaving the head and beard, was whipping. However, crimes that are punishable in the Muslim Scriptures will continue to be punished most severely according to the Koran, Sunnah and hadith, including by cutting off limbs, stoning (usually for adultery), whipping and the death penalty.
The intention of the Supreme Judicial Council to hold such a decision was first announced at the end of April. A few weeks ago, as part of the Kingdom's ongoing reforms, the death penalty was abolished for criminals under the age of 18.