Sentenced to 45 years in prison for tweeting against king and prince

Sentenced to 45 years in prison for tweeting against king and prince

A Saudi woman was reportedly sentenced to 45 years in prison on Aug. 9 for having “challenged” the country’s king and crown prince on Twitter. This is what follows from the text of the sentence provided by the organization Democracy for the Arab World Now to the Agence France Presse, which was unable to verify them. Riyadh authorities did not respond to requests for clarification.

The heavy sentence imposed on Nourah al-Qahtani, revealed last week, came less than a month after US President Joe Biden’s controversial visit to the kingdom. According to the document, the court ruled that Nourah al-Qahtani, 50, “used the social network Twitter to challenge the religion and justice” of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler. .

With her 600 followers, this mother of five was convicted of calling “to participate in activities that disturb public order and threaten security”, publish “false and malicious tweets”, insult “symbols and state officials” and ask ” the release of detainees” for security crimes.” Qahtani’s account, the court document said, posted tweets criticizing the government and his profile picture featured a hashtag calling for an anti-government protest.

The woman’s last message is dated July 2021, the month in which she was arrested before being sentenced in the first instance to six and a half years in prison and a ban on leaving the country. The prosecution, however, had appealed, demanding and obtaining a much harsher sentence. The court document states that Qahtani’s lawyer pointed out that her client had no criminal record and had done nothing but tweet. “There is no evidence that he communicated with a terrorist entity,” the lawyer said, describing Nourah al-Qahtani as “repentant”. On August 9, another woman, Salma al-Chehab, was sentenced to 34 years in prison for “helping” dissidents “destabilize the state” by sharing her tweets.

Source: IL Tempo