GENEVA — Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that the Kingdom disagrees with the report presented by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on death penalty. “It is imperative for us not to forget the rights of victims while listening to the calls for abrogation of the provision in the law for capital punishment in the pretext of protecting the rights of the killer,” said Faisal Bin Hassan Trad, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia and its Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
In a speech at the UN Human Rights Council, Trad said that the UN chief’s report highlighted only the opinion of countries that abrogated the capital punishment but not mentioned the viewpoints of those carrying out death penalty to ensure justice to all by protecting the rights of the victims. He said that any future reports from the UN on this topic need to carry the Kingdom’s opinion in this regard.
Trad said the Kingdom, as an Islamic country, is committed to hold fast to the Shariah principles in all walks of life especially in applying the capital punishment. He said that the Kingdom is keen to protect rights of both the offenders and the victims. This is the underlying spirit while carrying out the penalty for criminals convicted of death, he said.
According to Trad, Kingdom applies death penalty only in the case of occurrence of grave crimes that threaten the safety and security of society as well as infringing the rights of individuals. “We carry out death penalty only after it was endorsed and approved by at least 13 judges at three levels of judiciary – preliminary court, court of appeal and the Supreme Court,” he added.