Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
09:15 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Saudi sentences human rights activist to eight years in jail
Reuters
A maid talks to her employer as she pushed a shopping trolley outside a mall in Riyadh, on June 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE
A maid talks to her employer as she pushed a shopping trolley outside a mall in Riyadh, on June 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE
A+ A-

RIYADH: A Saudi Arabian court Monday has sentenced a human rights activist to eight years in prison for sedition after his group campaigned for a constitutional monarchy and elections in the Gulf Arab kingdom.

Abdulkarim al-Khader co-founded the Saudi Political and Civil Rights Association (ACPRA) and served as its head after the imprisonment of two of his colleagues in March.

Mohammed Fahd al-Qahtani and Abdullah Hamad were sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges that included sedition and damaging the country's reputation.

Monday's ruling stipulated that Khader will only serve three years in jail, with five years suspended unless he resumes his activities, human rights activists said on Tuesday. He has also been barred from travel for a further 10 years, they said.

The group, which was declared an illegal organisation after the March verdicts, has also accused the government of human rights abuses including torture, jailing political activists and detaining people without trial or after the expiry of their sentences.

A Justice Ministry spokesman could not be reached for a comment but the government has previously denied these accusations.

ACPRA has also represented the families of detainees the government says are Islamist militants who planned attacks on foreigners and officials.

The issue of the security detainees, whose relatives say have been denied fair treatment, has prompted numerous small protests in Saudi Arabia, where demonstrations and political parties are banned.

"(The government) is continuing its campaign against all human rights activists," said Waleed Abu al-Khair, a human rights lawyer and activist in Jeddah. "They are demanding that you sign a pledge to stop demanding reforms and those who refuse are taken to court and sent to jail."

Abu al-Khair is also on trial for sedition.

The world's top oil exporter is ruled by the al-Saud family whose members hold most top government and military positions and have extensive business interests.

The only elections in Washington's top Gulf ally are for half the positions on town councils that hold few powers.

The al-Saud rule with the backing of powerful clerics from the kingdom's official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam which bans the public practice of other religions inside Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam.

Saudi political analysts describe King Abdullah as a cautious reformer who has pushed for women to have a bigger role in society and has made the kingdom more tolerant of other cultures.

Foreign analysts say there appears to be little public demand for major political changes in Saudi Arabia now, although they point to evidence on social media of growing frustration at corruption, poverty and a lack of housing.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Saudi Arabia
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS