Saudi Arabia: Manifesto for Repression: Saudi Arabia’s Forthcoming Penal Code Must Uphold Human Rights in Line with International Law and Standards

Amnesty International’s analysis of an alleged leaked draft of the penal code shows how it codifies existing repressive practices that have allowed for the imprisonment of dissidents, as well as inhumane practices such as the death penalty. The draft code criminalizes acts of speech that are protected under international law, “illegitimate” consensual sexual relations, homosexuality and abortion, and it fails to protect women and girls from all forms of gender-based violence. The Saudi authorities should seize this opportunity to transform the abusive criminal justice system into one that respects human rights, rather than issuing a penal code that is essentially a manifesto for repression.

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