News & Politics

Saudi Arabia Abolishes Flogging as Punishment

Congratulations to Saudi Arabia for entering the 19th century. The government’s “reform” program of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), has now succeeded in banning flogging as a punishment.

Maybe next they’ll work on getting rid of stoning adulterous women.

But, one reform at a time, slow and steady. Who knows? Maybe one day they’ll be knocking on the door of the 20th century?

But don’t hold your breath.


Court-ordered floggings in Saudi Arabia — sometimes extending to hundreds of lashes — have long drawn condemnation from human rights groups.

But they say the headline legal reforms overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have brought no let-up in the conservative Islamic kingdom’s crushing of dissent, including through the use of the death penalty.

The state human rights commission said that the latest reform, which was reported by Saudi media including the pro-government Okaz newspaper, would ensure that no more convicts were sentenced to flogging.

Surreal, isn’t it?

The most high-profile instance of flogging in recent years was the case of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes in 2014 on charges of “insulting” Islam.

He was awarded the European parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize the following year.

It should also be noted that Saudi Arabia still has the death penalty that includes beheadings. So, yeah — they have a ways to go.

How far? This far.


A U.N. human rights watchdog called on Saudi Arabia on Friday to end “severe” discrimination against girls and to repeal laws that allow the stoning, amputation, flogging and execution of children.

Of course, it’s the treatment of women where the Kingdom has the farthest to go.

The U.N. experts voiced deep concern that Riyadh “still does not recognise girls as full subjects of rights and continues to severely discriminate (against) them in law and practice and to impose on them a system of male guardianship”.

Traditional, religious or cultural attitudes should not be used to justify violations of their right to equality, they said.

Linda Sarsour and other apologists for Islam claim that women don’t mind being beaten, raped, and treated as a possession rather than a human being. American feminists are silent, as are most cultural liberals who know that cultures like Saudi Arabia blow up their notion that all cultures are equally valuable.

Let’s just say it: we are better than them. To say otherwise means you have to defend beheadings, stonings, and treating women as cattle.