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HRC reiterates no juvenile offenders will face death penalty in Saudi Arabia
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 10 - 2020

RIYADH — The Human Rights Commission clarified on Wednesday that no juvenile offender would face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
The HRC made this declaration in response to a series of confused and inaccurate assertions made by the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW).
HRC had stated back in April the abolition of the death penalty for individuals convicted of committing crimes while minors applies to all cases and entered into force immediately upon announcement.
HRC has found no basis to substantiate Human Rights Watch's claim that Saudi prosecutors still seek the death sentences for juvenile offenders. We are confident that Saudi prosecutors will fully uphold the Saudi law.
Human Rights Watch appears to have conflated several cases that are different in nature. Some of the referenced individuals were minors when they committed the crimes for which they are being prosecuted.
HRC has confirmed that these individuals are being charged under the Juvenile Law and that there is no request for the death sentence.
As was made clear by the referral of several highly publicized cases in August, the Public Prosecutor of Saudi Arabia has already begun taking legal steps to implement the Royal Order and has submitted amended case papers to the relevant courts.
Some of the other cases outlined by Human Rights Watch concern offenders who were over the age of 18 at the time of their crimes. These individuals are thus not subject to Saudi Arabia's Juvenile Law.
HRC reiterates that no one in Saudi Arabia will be executed for a crime committed as a minor, in accordance with the Royal Order of March 2020.
Saudi Juvenile Law stipulates that the maximum sentence for any juvenile offender is ten years in a juvenile rehabilitation facility.
HRC investigates and takes measures to redress any credible allegation of mistreatment. The Commission addresses such cases with utmost seriousness.
However, to date, HRC has neither found nor received any credible information to suggest mistreatment as alleged by Human Rights Watch. HRC will continue to monitor these cases.


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