Mohannad al-Mohaimeed – Ten Years Imprisonment and Another Ten of Travel Ban for Tweeting
On February 18, 2014, the Saudi authorities held the first hearing in the trial of the Saudi activist Mohannad Al-Mohaimeed, who was arrested by the authorities on November 19, 2012, on charges tweeting on social media, incitement against the state, and ridiculing the ruler.
Accordingly, on April 9, 2014, the Specialized Criminal Court sentenced Al-Mohaimeed to ten years imprisonment and a travel ban for another ten years after his release from prison, a fine estimated at 1,000 Saudi riyals, and the suspension of all his accounts on social media.
Mohannad Al-Mohaimeed, a Saudi human rights activist, was arrested on November, 28, 2012, while joining a demonstration in Al-Buraidah city, north of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The demonstration was organised by a group of expatriate workers in front of Al-Buraidah’s labour office, in protest against the high fees for expatriate workers.
Al-Mohaimeed’s charges were not known until the beginning of his trial sessions and it included participating in a protest, disrespecting the authorities, and taking pictures to post on social media, inciting the masses against the state, and insulting officials in Kingdom.
Wide solidarity with Al-Mohaimeed
Many human rights bloggers showed solidarity with the 23-year-old activist and demanded his release, as there are no charges that require his imprisonment or the heinous torture he was subjected to.
Human rights organisations stated that he was held in solitary confinement for eighty days, prevented from his social and political rights, and prevented from communicating with his family at all or receiving visits from them.
Human rights organisations said that Mohannad rejected the appoint lawyer by the authorities to defend him, and he asked to appoint a lawyer of his choice; for which he was tortured and beaten.
Al-Mohaimeed’s family called the government to allow them visit their son, but they received no answer.
Al-Mohaimeed’s father revealed that the prison doctor had given Mohannad a kind of medicine classified by the Ministry of Interior among the types of drugs. The father questiones whether this act was intended to destroy a young man’s life in prison only for having a different opinion to the authorities. He wrote “When a traitor to this profession, the psychiatrist at the Terminal Prison Hospital tried to convince my son #Mohannad_Al-Mohaimeed to take these pills, wasn’t this an exploitation of his young age to destroy him?.”
The European Organization for Human Rights called on the authorities to release Mohannad, and presented the violations he suffered at prison, forcing him to accept an unfair trial.
Together for Justice condemned the Saudi authorities for arresting a young man for practicing his peaceful human rights, as well as subjecting him to violations and torture. It demanded the authorities that Al-Mohaimeed is given full political and human rights and to be released immediately.
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