Monday, July 01, 2013

Reprehensible repression in Saudi Arabia: five to ten year sentences for encouraging protests on Facebook

[Added: HRW offers more detail on the case:
"In the court judgment, which Human Rights Watch obtained, the charges against the seven varied. But the court convicted them all of joining Facebook pages to “incite protests, illegal gathering, and breaking allegiance with the king” and of “assisting and encouraging these calls and corresponding with the [Facebook pages’] followers and concealing them.” All seven were also convicted of violating article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, which prohibits producing, sending, or storing any material via an information network that “harms public order.”
"The court imposed its harshest sentence – 10 years in prison – on Abd al-Hamid al-Amer. Prosecutors accused him of founding two Facebook groups, through which he allegedly “conscripted others to join the movements” and “gave them ideas and guidance on the important sites in which to protest and set the timing [of the protests].”
"None of the charges accused the seven of using or advocating violence, as the presiding judge confirmed in the judgment, saying, “Breaking allegiance [with the king] comes by way of arms and it comes by way of protests, marches, and writing articles and publications … the behavior of the [second] course … is sometimes the more dangerous and more malicious method.”"]

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