Apr 27, 2020 - World

Saudi Arabia ends death penalty for children

People gather in front of Saudi Consulate in New York to protest against Saudi Arabia's decision to execute three leading Saudi Arabian scholars

A protest at the Saudi Consulate in New York against the death penalty in Saudi Arabia last June. Photo: Atlgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia announced in a statement Sunday it has ended the death penalty for crimes committed by minors after "effectively" abolishing floggings. Minors convicted would instead "receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile detention facility," the statement said.

The big picture: The kingdom is trying to recast itself in a tourism push to the West as a more liberal destination as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Saudi Vision 2030 plan to reduce its economic dependence on oil. But it has been widely criticized for having one of the world's worst human rights records. Saudi Arabia executed a record 184 people last year, per rights group Amnesty International. The UN said it received reports that three children were executed in May 2019.

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