Saudi Arabian government abolishes flogging
Convicts will receive 'fines or prison terms' instead of lashings.
The Saudi Arabian government has officially outlawed flogging, a move meant to abolish a practice long seen as a brutal violation of human rights in a country known for its widespread use of both corporal and capital punishment.
The development comes as part of a series of reforms led by the country's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has in recent years revised or repealed such policies as the country's ban on female drivers and its strict male guardian system.
Under the country's revised penal law, instead of flogging convicts will receive "fines or prison terms," the state's human rights commission said on Saturday.
Lashes in Saudi Arabia could previously be administered for crimes ranging from murder to extramarital affairs. Most notoriously, a blogger who in 2014 was judged to have been critical of Islam was sentenced to 1,000 lashes along with ten years in prison.
Saudi Arabia is known for its extensive use of the death penalty, having executed nearly 200 criminals in 2019. Saudi law permits the death penalty for crimes such as blasphemy, burglary, adultery and leveling insults at the country's royal family.