Saudi Woman Sent to Jail For 34 Years For Tweeting About Rights

Salma al-Shehab, a Saudi woman who is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Leeds in the UK, has been condemned to 34 years in prison for tweeting about women’s rights. The activist was detained in January 2021 after returning to Saudi Arabia for a vacation.

Shehab was originally sentenced 6 years of imprisonment for using social media to “disturb public order and destabilize the security and stability of the state”. She often reshared tweets in support of Saudi activists who have been living in exile for calling for the release of political prisoners in the kingdom.

The incident was originally reported by The Washington Post which said that:

Yet another glimpse at the brutal underside of the Saudi dictatorship under its crown prince and de facto head of state, Mohammed bin Salman.

Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, was directly involved in approving the murder of Jamal Khashoggi according to the US intelligence services. Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and a journalist who was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Washington Post says that the prosecutors in Shebab’s case argued for a more severe sentence which ended up being a drastic increase to 34 years under Saudi cybercrime and anti-terrorism laws. The Freedom Initiative, the authority that advocates the rights of prisoners in the Middle East, said that this had been the longest sentence for a women’s rights activist.

It is also worth mentioning that MBS indirectly owns a large stake in Twitter through the Saudi nation’s sovereign wealth investment fund. Twitter has not issued a public statement on the matter yet. Other notable Twitter shareholders also have ties to the Suadi wealth, but there are no details on that yet.

Source: The Verge 

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