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A Saudi court sentences US citizen to 16 years in prison for tweets

Because of tweets he sent while in the US, an American citizen was detained in Saudi Arabia, subjected to torture, and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

According to his son, Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a 72-year-old retired project manager who now calls Florida home was detained in the kingdom while visiting family in November of last year and was found guilty earlier this month. This confirms information that was previously reported by the Washington Post. Almadi is a citizen of both the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, Almadi’s detention was confirmed by Vedant Patel, a deputy spokeswoman for the State Department, who was speaking to media in Washington.

‘We have consistently and intensively raised our concerns regarding the case at senior levels of the Saudi government, both through channels in Riyadh and Washington DC as well and we will continue to do so,’ he said. ‘We have raised this with members of the Saudi government as recently as yesterday.’

It looked to be the most recent incident of Saudis receiving protracted prison sentences for posts they made on social media criticising the country’s leadership.

Saudi authorities have tightened their assault on dissent in the wake of the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wants to modernise and open up the staunchly conservative country but has adopted a strong stance against any criticism.


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