UN asks Saudi Arabia to free woman jailed over tweets

The United Nations voiced outrage at this time at a Saudi courtroom choice to sentence a woman to 34 years behind bars for tweets vital of the federal government, demanding she be launched.

“We are appalled by the sentencing of Saudi doctoral student Salma Al-Shehab … in connection with a series of tweets and retweets on political and human rights issues in Saudi Arabia,” Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the UN rights workplace, mentioned in a press release.

“We urge the Saudi authorities to quash her conviction and release her immediately and unconditionally,” she mentioned.

“She should never have been arrested and charged in the first place for such conduct.”

Amnesty International has additionally known as for her “immediate and unconditional” launch.

Salma al-Shehab, a member of the Shiite minority within the Sunni-ruled kingdom, had been finding out for a doctorate in Britain and was arrested in January 2021 whereas on vacation.

On 9 August, she was sentenced to 34 years in jail for aiding dissidents in search of to “disrupt public order” within the kingdom by relaying their tweets.

The Saudi Arabian authorities should instantly and unconditionally launch Salma al-Shehab. pic.twitter.com/SUOA53gCoG

— Amnesty International (@amnesty) August 18, 2022

The 34-year-old mom of two was additionally banned from travelling overseas for an additional 34 years as a part of the sentence.

The sentence comes amid a crackdown on rights activists within the oil-rich Gulf state, lots of whom have been slapped with jail sentences and journey bans.

Ms Throssell mentioned Ms Al-Shehab’s “extraordinarily lengthy sentence” added to “the chilling effect among government critics and civil society at large”.

This, she mentioned, “is yet another example of Saudi authorities weaponising the country’s counter-terrorism and anti-cybercrime laws to target, intimidate and retaliate against human rights defenders and those who voice dissent.”

Ms Throssell known as on Saudi authorities to “not only release Al-Shehab so that she can re-join her family, but also review all convictions stemming from free expression against human rights defenders”.

These included “women who were jailed after they legitimately demanded reforms of discriminatory policies, as well as religious leaders and journalists,” she mentioned.

primarily based on web site supplies www.rte.ie

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