Saudi Arabian woman gets 34 years for Twitter post backing women's rights activist
· Aug 18, 2022 ·

This is some pretty messed up stuff right here:

On the positive side, at least in Saudi Arabia they actually know what a woman is.

Okay sorry, I'll stop.

Cuz this is actually pretty serious.

While studying in the UK, Saudi mother Salma al-Shehab decided to tweet in defense of Loujain al-Hathloul, a women's rights activist "who campaigned for Saudi women's right to drive and was subsequently incarcerated and tortured." This tweet must've upset the crown, because when Shehab arrived home to visit her husband and sons in early 2021 she was detained by the Saudi government.

Saudi authorities cited her advocacy and other tweets as evidence of Shehab using social media to "cause public unrest and destabilize civil and national security," and initially sentenced her to six years behind bars.

This didn't sit well with Shehab, so she went ahead with an appeal.

This was not a good idea.

Prosecutors retaliated by demanding that the former dental hygienist and university lecturer be charged under the kingdom's counterterrorism laws, in addition to the cybercrime statute.

On Aug. 8, the terrorism court handed down the 34-year sentence, to be followed by a 34-year travel ban. According to the Freedom Initiative, a nonprofit that advocates for prisoners in the Middle East and North Africa, it is the longest known sentence for a women's rights activist in Saudi Arabia.

"The longest known sentence for a women's rights activist in Saudi Arabia."

For posting on the internet in defense of a women's rights activist and then having the guts to appeal her six-year sentence for doing so.


I'm really hoping she gets let off early.

That travel ban is pretty intense though.

One last thing:

[Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman], who controls a major indirect stake in Twitter through the Public Investment Firm (PIF), is no stranger to using extreme force to silence dissenting voices. Just four years ago, he allegedly ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khalic Aljabri, an exiled Saudi, told the Guardian that the Shehab case is merely the latest example of "MBS's ruthless repression machine."

"Just like Khashoggi's assassination, her sentencing is intended to send shock waves inside and outside the kingdom," he said. "Dare to criticize MBS and you will end up dismembered or in Saudi dungeons."

I must say, we're pretty lucky to live in the country we do.

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