Saudi woman sentenced to 34 years in prison for Twitter posts

Saudi woman sentenced to 34 years in prison for messages on Twitter

The user was found guilty of “providing assistance to those who seek to disturb public order and spread false and malicious information” using Twitter.

A Saudi court sentenced a student to 34 years in prison for 'providing assistance', through her tweets, to political opponents who seek to 'disturb public order', according to a court document seen by AFP on Wednesday.

The London-based human rights organization ALQST denounced in a press release the longest sentence of ;ever imprisonment ever imposed by the Saudi authorities on a peaceful activist in a context of already excessively harsh repression.

An appeals court sentenced Salma Al-Chehab to 34 years in prison, a sentence accompanied by a ban on leaving her country for a similar period after her release from detention, according to a judgment handed down on August 9 and a copy of which AFP was able to view on Wednesday.

This mother of two was found guilty of providing aid to those seeking to disturb public order and spread false and malicious information by writing and posting tweets on his personal account.

A doctoral student in dentistry at the University of Leeds, England, Salma Al-Chehab was arrested in January 2021 while on vacation in Saudi Arabia.

In June 2022, a court had sentenced her at first instance to six years in prison, three of which were suspended, a sentence considerably increased a few days ago.

The judgment on appeal can be challenged within 30 days before the Supreme Court.

Repression of political opponents has intensified in Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Salma Al-Chehab regularly posted messages in favor of women's rights in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

She did not think that her activity on Twitter could cause her any harm. problems, told AFP a friend of the young woman, who requested anonymity. We were surprised by his arrest.

Under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has given new rights to women, such as the right to drive or to travel alone.

However, the kingdom is regularly singled out by NGOs for serious human rights abuses, including its crackdown on political dissidents and feminist activists.

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