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UN body tells Saudi Arabia to end child executions

GENEVA (Reuters) – A UN human rights watchdog called on Saudi Arabia on Friday to end “severe” discrimination against girls and to repeal laws that allow the stoning, amputation, flogging, and execution of children.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child condemned the Saudi-led coalition’s air strikes in Yemen, which it said had killed and maimed hundreds of children, and its “use of starvation” as a tactic in that war against Iran-backed Houthis. The committee’s 18 independent experts examined the kingdom’s record of compliance with a UN treaty protecting the rights of people under the age of 18.

Bandar Bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, chairman of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, who led a Saudi delegation to the committee’s review, told the body that sharia, Islamic law, was above all laws and treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. But the kingdom had the political will to protect children’s rights, he said.

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