Saudi Arabia ends execution of minors

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Saudi Arabia will no longer impose the death penalty on people who committed crimes while still minors, the country’s Human Rights Commission says.

The announcement, citing a royal decree by King Salman, comes two days after the country said it would ban flogging.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – which Riyadh has signed – says capital punishment should not be used for offences carried out by minors.

Activists say Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s worst human rights records.

They say freedom of expression is severely curtailed and critics of the government are subject to what they say is arbitrary arrest.

A record 184 people were executed in the kingdom in 2019, according to human rights group Amnesty International. At least one case involved a man convicted of a crime committed when he was a minor, the rights group reported.