WARNING: This video contains graphic content.
Andrew Hammond: Saudi Arabia has what some would call very medieval aspects to its legal system. Over 100 public beheadings were carried out in 2015 alone.
Text: The Saudi legal system is based on Sharia Law and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammed. Sharia law is Islamic law, and comes from the Qu’ran. However, Saudi adopts a “harsh” and literal interpretation of these historic practices within Sharia Law. These are unique and not usually used within other Muslim countries.
According to Sharia Law there are three major categories for which capital punishment can be imposed; HADD/HUDUD: Crimes against God: – Adultery – Religious Conversion – Homosexuality. QISAS: – Physical injury – Murder (but these are considered personal disputes and can be settled accordingly.) TAZIR: – Rape – Drug Smuggling – Witchcraft (these are left to the judgement of the court.)
Newsnight: The Saudis have a long tradition of pretty much writing their own rules. I’m looking at an Amnesty report covering 2014 and 2015 and I’ve got to be honest with you Crispin Blunt it reads like a tabloid newspaper’s catalogue of Islamic State atrocities. We’re talking about public executions carried out on a scale big enough to make Jihadi John look like something of an amateur, public floggings, women facing epic discrimination, death sentences being handed with abandon, torture, floggings.
Text: It has been reported that the penalty for slander and drinking alcohol is the only difference in punishment between ISIS and that of Saudi Arabia.
Erin O’Halloran: These practices are more unique to the specifics of the Saudi state, the way that it’s run and to this grand bargain that I mentioned between the House of Saud and the Wahhabi clerics. It’s the fact that the Wahhabi clerics have so much control over the judicial system, and that the Saudi family doesn’t intervene very much in how the clerics want to run things, that results in this sort of, what I would call “monstrous cultural practices” that don’t have very much to do with Islam as such. Unfortunately what we’ve seen recently in the past couple of years is that some women have been stoned to death for accusing a man of rape. So if a woman gets sexually abused and dares to speak out about it, then she can end up being the person blamed for that. The other thing that happens is lashings and a lot of women… That, I think is more common than the stonings for adultery…
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