Saudi Arabia will no longer hold public floggings as punishment for some crimes like public intoxication, harassment and extramarital sex, according to a document seen by The Guardian. Punishment for those crimes will be replaced by prison sentences. “The decision is an extension of the human rights reforms introduced under the direction of King Salman and the direct supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman,” the document said. Other crimes will still be punished by harsh means, including amputation for theft and beheading for murder and terrorism charges. Rights groups have welcomed the end to flogging. “This is a welcome change but it should have happened years ago,” said Adam Coogle of Human Rights Watch. The most recent high-profile flogging was in 2014 when blogger Raif Badawi received 1,000 lashes for allegedly insulting Islam.
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