Orange Room Supporter
Interesting debate about the certified ISIS kingdom
The amount of racist comments this music video got was astounding. I had no idea racism was this rooted in their society."racism & misogyny"?
What does it have to do with racism - does it mean that only some races can sing in public, but not others.
What does it have to do with misogyny - does it mean that only men are allowed to sing in public, but not women.
The amount of racist comments this music video got was astounding. I had no idea racism was this rooted in their society.
Saudi Arabia Abolishes Flogging as a Punishment for Crime
The most high-profile flogging in recent years was of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes in 2014 on charges of “insulting” Islam.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — When judges in Saudi Arabia convict someone of a crime, they now have one fewer punishment to hand down. As of this month, they can no longer have people flogged.
The decision to ban flogging, which the state-run human rights commission confirmed on Saturday, removes one aspect of the kingdom’s justice system that has often generated criticism abroad.
While Saudi officials hailed the move as a bold reform by the kingdom’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, Western human rights campaigners gave more muted reactions.
“I would not call it a breakthrough,” said Adam Coogle, a researcher at Human Rights Watch who tracks Saudi Arabia. “I would call it a positive step.”
Dampening his enthusiasm, he said, were what he called the many other aspects of the kingdom’s justice system that remain problematic, including the ability to hold people for months without charge, execution by beheading and the lack of a unified penal code.
“I surely hope he intends to go after the whole justice system, because it is very flawed in both regulations and implementation,” Mr. Coogle said of Prince Mohammed.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s few absolute monarchies and administers justice based on Shariah law. Drinking alcohol is a criminal offense, and drug trafficking often a capital crime. While stoning as a punishment for adultery and the amputation of limbs for theft remain technically on the books, they are rarely, if ever, carried out.
The lack of a unified penal code gives judges great leeway in sentencing, and flogging was most often part of the punishment for so-called moral crimes such as public drunkenness or what judges deemed to be inappropriate contact between unrelated women and men.
Some of those offenses are now seen as less grave in Saudi Arabia because of changes pushed through by Prince Mohammed. As part of his plans to diversify the economy and open up society, he has taken the power to arrest away from the kingdom’s religious police and expanded entertainment opportunities by opening movie theaters and bringing in rock concerts, professional wrestling tournaments and monster truck rallies.
At least in Saudi cities, it is much more common to see women socializing openly with men and not covering their hair or faces than it was a few years ago.
Saudi officials hailed the flogging ban as part of these changes.
“This reform is a momentous step forward in Saudi Arabia’s human rights agenda, and merely one of many recent reforms in the kingdom,” Awwad Alawwad, the president of the kingdom’s human rights commission, told Reuters.
The decision to replace flogging as a punishment with jail time and fines was made sometime this month and announced internally by the kingdom’s top court, Reuters reported.
Floggings tended to be done with a wooden cane, the swift blows going up and down the backside of the sentenced person. In the past, they were often carried out in public, adding a social stigma to the physical pain inflicted.
“It is meant to be more of a humiliation,” said Mr. Coogle of Human Rights Watch, adding that he had not heard of reports of injuries.
Reports of public floggings have grown rare in recent years, either because they were being administered in prisons or not at all.
The kingdom’s most famous flogging case was that of Raif Badawi, who ran a website that published material criticizing Saudi religious figures, lauding Western legal systems and arguing that atheists should be free to state their views without being punished.
That angered Saudi conservatives, who denounced him.
The Saudi authorities arrested Mr. Badawi in 2012 and put him on trial on charges that included cybercrime and disobeying his father. In 2014, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, fined more than a quarter-million dollars, and ordered to endure 1,000 blows with a cane in weekly installments over several months.
But a video of the first installment, in front of a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, set off international outrage and Mr. Badawi was never caned again. While he remains in prison, he has been embraced by some in the West as symbol of the kingdom’s intolerance of freedom of thought and expression. In 2015, he was awarded the European Union’s top human rights award and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Iran: Young man flogged 80 times for drinking alcohol as a child
Article 265 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code states that the punishment for consumption of alcohol by a Muslim is 80 lashes.
More than 100 “offences” are punishable by flogging under Iranian law. The offences include theft, assault, vandalism, defamation and fraud. They also cover acts that should not be criminalized, such as adultery, intimate relationships between unmarried men and women, “breach of public morals” and consensual same-sex sexual relations.
In January 2016, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN body that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by state parties, urged Iran to “immediately repeal all provisions which authorize or condone cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of children”.