Saudi Arabia: Release of American detained for tweets critical of the regime
Saad Ibrahim Almadi had been arrested for tweets deemed too critical of the Saudi government. A 72-year-old American citizen of Saudi origin, he had been imprisoned for a year and a half in the kingdom and was released on Tuesday, March 21. © FAMILY HANDOUT / AFP
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Saad Ibrahim Almadi had been arrested for tweets deemed too critical of the Saudi government. A 72-year-old American citizen of Saudi origin, he had been imprisoned for a year and a half in the kingdom and was released on Tuesday, March 21. A news welcomed by his son, but this case reminds us that critics of the power on social networks are exposed to heavy penalties.
In his tweets posted from the United States, Saad Ibrahim Almadi attacked the Saudi intervention in Yemen, he also criticized the increase in poverty and taxes.
It was when he arrived in the kingdom in November 2021, while visiting his family, that this American of Saudi origin arrested. Initially sentenced to 16 years in prison, he was sentenced in February 2023 to an additional three years on appeal.
► Read also: In Saudi Arabia, the authorities hunt for "rumors" on social networks
His surprise release was announced last night, but Saad Ibrahim Almadi remains banned from leaving the country. "The fight continues, my father must return to the United States," said his son Ibrahim, who even informed of his father's release.
Critics heavily condemned
In recent months, heavy sentences against critics of the kingdom on social networks have multiplied: 45 years in prison for Nourah al-Qahtani, a mother of five, 27 years in prison for Salma al-Chehab, a doctoral student in dentistry at the University of Leeds in England. Both were accused of relaying tweets that contributed to disturbing "public order".
Human rights defenders also warn about the fate of political prisoners. Mohammed al-Qahtani and Issa al-Nukhaifi, two activists who have served their full sentences, have not been heard from for four months.
► Read also: In Saudi Arabia, human rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was released
And with AFP)
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- Saudi Arabia
- Human rights
- Social Media
- United States