Saudi Woman Gets 45 Years In Prison For Twitter Post

DUBAI, UAE- A Saudi court has sentenced a woman to 45 years in prison for allegedly damaging the country through her social media activity, according to a court document obtained Wednesday.

It was the second such sentence that has drawn the scrutiny of the kingdom this month.

Nourah bint Saeed al-Qahtani is a Saudi Arabian woman who is facing charges for her social media use. There is little known about her, but she is from a large tribe in Saudi Arabia. Human rights groups have seen the official charge sheet, but Saudi officials have not commented on the case.

It remains unclear what al-Qahtani posted on Twitter or where her hearing was held. She was taken into custody on July 4, 2021, according to the Washington-based human rights watchdog Democracy for the Arab World Now, which is critical of the kingdom. Documents mention her Twitter accounts, but the account no longer exists.

There has been an international outcry over a similar 34-year prison sentence handed down to Salma al-Shehab, a Saudi doctoral student at Leeds University in England.

Earlier this month, a specialized criminal court delivered the 45-year sentence under the kingdom’s broad counterterrorism and cybercrime laws. That court, which normally handles political and national security cases, gave the sentence during al-Qahtani’s appeal of her earlier conviction.

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