UN torture committee calls on Saudi Arabia to stop corporal punishments

UN torture committee calls on Saudi Arabia to stop corporal punishments

The United Nations torture committee has called on Saudi Arabia to stop physical punishment, including flogging and amputations, in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

In its first review of Saudi Arabia since 2002, the committee that monitors the UN Convention against Torture also expressed concern about the abuse of bloggers, activists and human rights lawyers in Saudi prisons on Friday.

“Has Saudi Arabia taken steps to prohibit… corporal punishments, such as flogging and amputation of limbs, which are in breach of the convention?” committee member Felice Gaer asked Saudi officials.

The committee generally examines countries every five years or so, but it could not do so for Saudi Arabia because Riyadh’s report on its compliance with the Convention against Torture was already four years overdue.

Amnesty International said in a report last year that court proceedings in Saudi Arabia “fall far short” of global norms of fairness.