Saudi Arabia has abolished flogging, one of its many barbaric medieval punishments, as part of sweeping reforms pushed by King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed in a bid to create a more moderate Kingdom. Flogging as a form of punishment in Saudi Arabia has long been condemned by human rights groups. The Kingdom's Supreme Court had termed the move 'human right advances' by the King and his son.

Saudi Arabi flag
Saudi Arabi flaggettyimages

However, flogging was a less cruel punishment among the barbaric medieval punishments faced by kids as young as 14-year-old in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has some of the most barbaric and bizarre punishments in the world. Public beheadings, eye-gouging, paralysis, and crucifixion are the other form of barbarous punishments given to people in the oppressive kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In a horrific mass execution last year, Saudi Arabia had executed 37 people. While 36 were beheaded, one was crucified over "terrorism charges". In Saudi Arabia, death sentences are pronounced based on the system of judicial sentencing discretion rather than Sharia-prescribed punishments.

No penal code, courts decide what punishment crimes deserve

Saudi Arabia punishments
Saudi Arabia still follows several barbaric medieval punishments.Image Courtesy: Reuters/File

Capital offences in the Kingdom include both violent - murder, terrorism, rape - as well as non-violent crimes such as homosexuality, adultery, Blasphemy, drug smuggling, insulting the royal family, Blasphemy, adultery, sorcery or witchcraft. These offences attract capital punishments in a way that can be highly barbarous.

For example, in the case of adultery, the accused can be stoned to death if the crime is committed by married men or women. If someone is convicted of murder, he will be given eye-for-an-eye retaliatory punishments which include eye gauging, public beheading, crucifixion.

The Kingdom doesn't have any written penal code and code of criminal and judicial procedures. The courts have the power to determine what makes a criminal offence and what punishment will be given for crimes. A convict pronounced capital sentence can only appeal to the king, who then take a call on whether that person will live or die.