Saudi HR activist given 10-year jail term for Twitter ‘terrorism’ support


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RIYADH (News Desk) – A Saudi special court for terrorism sentenced a man for 10 years jail after found him guilty of using Twitter to call for the release of prisoners convicted of “terrorism” and security offences, local media reported Tuesday.
The Okaz daily said the accused, who was not named, opened several Twitter accounts.
The court found him guilty of using the accounts to “call for protests and spread chaos to release detainees that are held for security and terrorism charges.”
He also joined a protest calling for the release of one detainee outside the prisoner’s home, it said.
Twitter is widely used in the conservative kingdom, which has repeatedly denounced bombings and shootings carried out in various countries by ISIS and other extremists.
The kingdom itself has been targeted in attacks claimed by ISIS against minority Shiites and members of the security forces.
Last year the interior ministry said it had arrested hundreds of suspects involved in attacks and plots.
At the same time, the ideas of fundamentalist preacher Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab, who co-founded the Saudi state, have been accused of fueling deadly Sunni extremism around the world.
Imprisoned Saudi lawyer and human rights activist Waleed Abulkhair.
Imprisoned Saudi lawyer and human rights activist Waleed Abulkhair.
It is an offence for Saudis to travel abroad to fight, but they comprised the second largest nationality among “foreign terrorist fighters” with ISIS, according to a report last year by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force.
In a separate case, Okaz reported that the special court for terrorism sentenced a Saudi to 3.5 years in prison “for supporting Hezbollah” and possessing the flag of the Lebanese-based Shiite militant movement.
Alleged leaders of Hezbollah are under sanction by Saudi Arabia.
Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.
Jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.
The Saudi blogger,Raif Badawi, received his first 50 lashes in Jeddah on January 9, 2015. The other rounds of the punishment have been suspended in straight weeks.
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