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Covid-19: Saudi suspends prison sentences in debt cases, releases those in jail

Covid-19: Saudi suspends prison sentences in debt cases, releases those in jail

The move is aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19

Saudi has issued a new decree suspending jail terms of those convicted in debt-related cases as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The royal decree, passed by King Salman on Tuesday, suspends the execution of final sentences and judicial orders related to the imprisonment of debtors in private cases. It also calls for the immediate and temporary release of those in prison for debt-related offences.

The king also suspended all ruling and judgments allowing children to visit estranged parents in prison.

The orders will remain in force until the “end of the exceptional circumstances of the virus pandemic”, the SPA report stated.

Walid Al-Samaani, the justice minister and president of the Supreme Judicial Council, confirmed that the arrest warrants were immediately lifted electronically and that the relevant authorities have been notified to enforce it.

He added that the visitation rights of children was also suspended electronically and that the parties were notified by a text message.

Saudi Arabia has recorded a total of 2,795 confirmed coronavirus cases as of April 7, with the death toll at 41.

Meanwhile, 615 people are said to have recovered.

According to the Ministry of Health, the kingdom could see a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks, with the number of cases ranging from “10,000 to 200,000”.

The kingdom has already enforced an evening curfew throughout the country, with a 24-hour curfew imposed in some cities including Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Read: Saudi imposes 24-hour curfew in several cities including Riyadh, Dammam


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