In the News: Saudia Arabia: Apostasy Penalty Unchanged

Official source denies allegations that the Kingdom is planning to abolish apostasy penalty, Saudi Press Agency, 2017-12-02.

An official source declared to the Saudi Press Agency that the allegations published by some sources in good intention or otherwise that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is embarked on abolishing the apostasy penalty are altogether false and incorrect. The source explained that such groundless claims are absurd according to the ruling system of governance and as per the practices of this blessed country since its institution. He confirmed that the public prosecution is embarked on taking the necessary legal measures to sue who dared to disseminate such lies which go contrary to the constitution of this country. The source stressed that such issue was already determined and un-negotiable at all in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The criminalization of apostasy (leaving one’s religion)—especially when punishable by the death penalty—constitutes a total negation of freedom of conscience. Indeed, such a law is barbaric. Despite any rumours we may have heard about reforms in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency assures us that the country’s legal system will continue to be barbaric by refusing to abolish the penalty for apostasy. Even worse, according to the above news report, it is apparently illegal even to say that such a change could envisaged!

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