In a major step taken by the King Salman government in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the state human rights commission abolished flogging as a punishment.
The court-ordered flogging in the kingdom was the centuries-old practice of punishing the crimes like murder, extra-marital or pre-marital affairs, breach of peace, insulting religion and some other serious crimes.
The said punishment received condemnations from various human rights groups in recent times as well as in past.
The most prominent case of Saudi Arabia’s flogging which came under the spotlight was the flogging of the blogger Raif Badawi who received 10 years of prison and 1000 lashes as he insulted Islam according to authorities. The event had huge international outcry by various human rights outlets which abandoned the said punishment.
“This decision guarantees that convicts who would previously have been sentenced to the lash will from now on receive fines or prison terms instead,” the chairman of the human rights group, Awad al-Awad, said.
Judges in the kingdom will now have the powers to order fines, prison or community service as an alternate of flogging.
The Saudi supreme court said the latest reform was intended to “bring the kingdom into line with international human rights norms against corporal punishment”.
Saudi Arabia human rights sector also came under criticism as 69 years old human right activist and lawyer Abdullah Al-Hamid died in prison on Friday.