A Report on Capital Punishment and Violation of...
On 12 July 2023, the European-Saudi Human Rights in Saudi Arabia Organization in its fourth regional congress on capital punishment, debated the impact of execution of underage children in Saudi Arabia. According to this report in a speech, Do’a Zeini, senior researcher of the Organization reassured that individuals who are faced with crimes that have taken place while they were underage, they must be protected from execution in accordance with Children’s Laws. But these individuals spend years on death row and regrettably their sentence is confirmed without providing official information. The sentence might be carried out at any time secretly without being allowed to say goodbye to their loved ones. According to the report, in the last seven years Saudi Arabia has executed at least 12 juveniles. The report further adds: there is evidence that shows the impoverished and some racial, ethnic and religious minorities or their economic status may feel being discriminated against. Also the report confirmed that most of the carried out executions show disregard towards children’s rights. Saudi Arabia carries out sentences out of the blue and without giving the prisoner the right to say goodbye to his family, which is very shocking with regards to children. Failure to announce the time of the carrying out of the sentence to the families is contrary to Article 7 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and are deemed cruel and inhuman behaviour. Also keeping the data secret is indicative of violation of children’s rights in access to information. According to the report, Zeini has asked Saudi authorities to hand over the bodies and personal belongings of these individuals to their families, and to immediately put an end to the secretive forms which could possibly be with regards to carrying out executions, and make sure that Saudi domestic laws conform to international standards.
Zeini reassured that in the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report in 2013, calls on countries that have the death penalty to effectively protect children’s rights and allow visits and final communications according to laws. According to this report, from 2016 Saudi Arabia has denied families from the right to say goodbye, burial, and in some instances even funeral. Zeini stressed that Saudi Arabia violates children’s rights and has ignored its commitments and international law in several levels.