Saudi Arabia commutes three death sentences, UN experts urge charges be dropped

The United Nations

Independent UN human rights experts welcomed on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s decision to commute the death sentences of three men for crimes they had allegedly committed when they were minors and urged the Kingdom to overturn their convictions and release them.

Five UN rights experts called Saudi Arabia’ decision to re-sentence to 10 years, the imprisonment of Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher “an important step towards compliance with the country’s international human rights obligations”, particularly under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits executions for crimes committed by persons under the age of 18.

They highlighted that the sentencing commutations were based on the March 2020 Royal Order, which provides that any individual who received a death sentence for crimes committed as a minor would no longer face execution but instead, receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile facility.

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