Saudis: No Longer Executing People Convicted as Minors
Awwad Alawwad, who heads Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission, says King Salman has decreed an end to executions for people convicted of capital crimes as minors. Alawwad on Sunday issued a statement saying the move represented “a more modern penal code and demonstrates the kingdom’s commitment to following through on key reforms.” The decree appears to be an outgrowth of Salman’s decision in 2018 to limit prison terms to 10 years for minors convicted of non-capital crimes. That period of maximum imprisonment will now apply to all minors, no matter the crime. The move appears to be part of a modernization effort spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seeking to open the kingdom up to the outside world, primarily through tourism, in an effort to find sources of income entirely unrelated to oil, with Saudi Arabia’s proven in-ground resources projected to last for no more than the next 50 years. At the same time, the crown prince has come under intense scrutiny regarding human rights issues, such as the October 2018 killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.