Saudi woman sentenced to 34 years in prison for using Twitter
A woman in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for a Twitter account. The sentence by the special Saudi terror court came weeks after US President Joe Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia, which human rights activists had warned could embolden the kingdom to escalate its crackdown on dissidents and other pro-democracy activists. .
The case also marks the latest example of how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has targeted Twitter users in his crackdown campaign while also controlling a large indirect stake in the US social media company through Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. , Public Investment Fund.
Salma al-Shehab, 34, a mother of two young children, was initially sentenced to three years in prison for the "crime" of using a website to "cause public unrest and destabilize civil and national security". But an appeals court handed down the new sentence on Monday, a full 34 years in prison followed by a 34-year travel ban, after a public prosecutor asked the court to consider other alleged crimes.
According to the court, the new charges include the allegation that Shehab was "helping those who seek to cause public unrest and destabilize civil and national security by following their Twitter accounts" and sharing their tweets.
Her Twitter profile had 2597 followers. In between posting photos of her young children, Shehab had reposted some of the posts from Saudi dissidents living in exile calling for the release of political prisoners in the kingdom. She has also supported the case of Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent Saudi feminist activist who was imprisoned and allegedly tortured for supporting women's rights.