US Citizen Sentenced by Saudi Arabia to 16 Years for Tweets
(AmericanProsperity.com) – US residents enjoy a number of liberties some of us might take for granted. Saad Ibrahim Almadi, who had dual citizenship in the United States and Saudi Arabia, hadn’t worried about taking a two-week business and personal trip to his birth country. But police were waiting for the 72-year-old Florida resident as soon as he landed at the airport. His only crime was offending Saudi leadership on Twitter.
Saudi Arabia sentences US citizen to 16 years over tweets critical of regime https://t.co/083DmQ6jXW
— Guardian news (@guardiannews) October 19, 2022
Almadi had posted a mere 14 tweets during seven years, but their content was likely enough to gain the attention of an informant. Most notably, he’d tweeted about Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist for The Washington Post who had been killed in Istanbul within the Saudi consulate. He had also reportedly saved caricatures of the country’s officials on his phone.
The Guardian reported that the Saudi government encourages its people to spy and report on one another via an app called We Are All Security. The practice is potentially lucrative, so Almadi was likely aware of the threat. Still, he wrongly assumed he was “untouchable” because of his family’s high-profile status.
In an October 17 opinion piece, The Washington Post shared that Almadi’s charges include harboring a terrorist ideology, funding terrorism, and trying to destabilize the Kingdom. The 72-year-old received a 16-year prison sentence, making him 87 when he’s finally released. The court also imposed a 16-year travel ban, effective after his initial sentence, meaning Almadi’s chances of ever seeing his beloved Florida home again are unlikely. His family is trying to convince the US government to intervene, claiming unlawful detainment and violations of the man’s rights as a dual citizen.
Almadi’s case shares similarities with Salma al-Shehab’s, a 34-year-old UK woman who received a 34-year sentence for similar crimes. The Saudi government arrested her in 2020 after she returned to the country to reunite with her family members and take them back to the UK.
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