Retired Teacher Receives Death Sentence in Saudi Arabia for Tweets

Retired Teacher Receives Death Sentence in Saudi Arabia for Tweets

Muhammad al-Ghamdi/Image:Human Rights Watch

A Saudi court sentenced retired teacher Muhammad al-Ghamdi, 54, to death over 5 tweets criticizing corruption and human rights violations.

According to Human Rights Watch, Muhammad al-Ghamdi was arrested last year and given little access to a lawyer before his conviction in July “under article 30 of Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism law for ‘describing the King or the Crown Prince in a way that undermines religion or justice,’ article 34 for ‘supporting a terrorist ideology,’ article 43 for ‘communication with a terrorist entity,’ and article 44 for publishing false news ‘with the intention of executing a terrorist crime.’”

Tweets, retweets, and YouTube activity were all used as evidence to convict him.

Al-Ghamdi’s brother, Saeed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi, a well-known Saudi Islamic scholar and government critic living in exile in the United Kingdom wrote on X:

“The Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh, headed by Awad Al-Ahmari, sentenced my brother #محمد_بن_ناصر_الغامدي to death following 5 tweets criticizing corruption and human rights violations. And his defense during the investigation of the detained scholars “Awad Al-Qarni, Salman Al-Awda, Safar Al-Hawali and Ali Al-Omari” The court did not accept all the medical reports proving his chronic neurological diseases and did not point out his grayness and ill health Not because his tweets are in an anonymous account that only nine followers follow! Note that the procedures that were followed with him suggest that this false ruling aims to spite me personally after failed attempts by the investigations to return me to the country. I appeal to everyone who has any ability to help free my brother’s neck from the rule of injustice and unfair rulings.”

Human Rights Watch reports:

Court documents Human Rights Watch reviewed show that the Specialized Criminal Court sentenced al-Ghamdi to death on July 10 under article 30 of Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism law for “describing the King or the Crown Prince in a way that undermines religion or justice,” article 34 for “supporting a terrorist ideology,” article 43 for “communication with a terrorist entity,” and article 44 for publishing false news “with the intention of executing a terrorist crime.” Al-Ghamdi’s trial judgment states that he used his accounts on the X, formally Twitter, platform and YouTube to commit his “crimes.”

The public prosecutor sought the maximum penalties for all charges against al-Ghamdi. The documents say that the court issued the sentence on the grounds that the crimes “targeted the status of the King and the Crown Prince,” and that the “magnitude of his actions is amplified by the fact they occurred through a global media platform, necessitating a strict punishment.”

The documents cite two X platform accounts as belonging to al-Ghamdi. Human Rights Watch found that the first account had two followers and the second had eight. Both accounts, which have fewer than 1,000 tweets combined, largely contained retweets of well-known critics of the Saudi government.

The charging document cites as evidence several tweets criticizing the Saudi royal family, and at least one calling for the release of Salman al-Awda, a prominent cleric facing a possible death sentence on various vague charges related to his political statements, associations, and positions, and of other prominent imprisoned Islamic scholars.

The post Retired Teacher Receives Death Sentence in Saudi Arabia for Tweets appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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Author: Margaret Flavin