(AmericanProsperity.com) – The First Amendment outlines one of the fundamental rights we enjoy as Americans: freedom of speech. That right ensures citizens can largely post their opinions without fear of prosecution, even when they criticize the US government. However, not every country accepts the idea, as one man who traveled home a couple of years ago discovered.
In 2021, Saad Almadi, a naturalized American citizen who has lived in the US for approximately 50 years, traveled back to his native Saudi Arabia to sell a property. While there, authorities detained him for tweets he had posted criticizing the country and its failure to protect its borders and supporting a measure to name a street after murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
A court initially sentenced Almadi to 16 years and 3 months in prison, but after an appeal, the Saudis upgraded the sentence to 19 years. In a statement to the New York Post, his son Ibrahim called it a “middle finger” to President Joe Biden. He also said Biden was doing nothing to bring his father home and last October accused the president of only caring about securing votes.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 8, 2023
As the New York Post reported, Almadi’s case saw a number of missteps. However, the State Department’s failure to send a representative when Almadi attended his sentencing was the most egregious.
The younger Almadi said his father is suffering in prison, undergoing torture where jailors have deprived him of access to even a bed or chair. He also told the New York Post that the older man had lost more than 80 pounds.
One thing Ibrahim said the Biden Administration could and should do is to designate his father as “wrongfully detained,” which is a term used to pressure world leaders into cooperating for diplomatic purposes. He pinned the family’s hopes on the change in designation, saying, “that’s how Brittney Griner got out.”
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