Saudi court sentences rights activists to 10 years

A criminal court in Riyadh on March 9 sentenced two Saudi Arabian human rights activists to at least 10 years in prison. The activists were found guilty earlier that day of sedition, providing foreign media with inaccurate information, founding and operating an unlicensed human rights organization and other criminal offenses. Mohammed al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid founded the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, a group that documented human rights abuses, and the group has been ordered to disband. Al-Qahtani was sentenced to 10 years in prison and received a 10-year travel ban. Al-Hamid was sentenced to five years in prison, ordered to serve six years of a sentence from which he he had previously been pardoned, and received a five-year travel ban. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has demanded the immediate release of the activists. Both men will remain in detention until a ruling on their appeal next month.

From Jurist, March 10. Used with permission.