Saudi Man Sentenced to Death for Tweets

We strongly condemn the shocking and arbitrary death sentence issued against the Saudi citizen, Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, over a number of tweets and videos in which he criticised the Saudi authorities’ arbitrary policies against domestic freedoms and political detainees.

Last July, Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, a retired Saudi teacher, was sentenced to death by the Specialized Criminal Court.

Sources familiar with the matter affirmed that Al-Ghamdi was denied the right to legal counsel or access to his charging document as his court session was held secretly.

Al-Ghamdi, a Mecca resident and father of seven children, only has 10 followers across his two accounts on the X platform (previously known as Twitter). His two anonymous accounts were hacked by Saudi government agents, who used to leak the data of users criticising the Saudi regime on Social media.

Al-Ghamdi’s death sentence is the most severe in a series of cases in which Saudi authorities have targeted social media users for peaceful expression online.

Al-Ghamdi’s case stands out because it has a very small number of followers on X platforms.

Court documents show that the Specialized Criminal Court sentenced Al-Ghamdi to death on July 10 under the suspicious counterterrorism law on charges of insulting the King or the Crown Prince and supporting a terrorist ideology.

He was convicted by the Specialized Criminal Court, Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism tribunal that was established 15 years ago.

Al-Ghamdi’s brother, Saeed bin Nasser Al-Ghamdi, is a well-known Saudi Islamic scholar and government critic living in exile. In a tweet, Saeed wrote that the “false ruling aims to spite me personally after failed attempts by the investigations to return me to the country.”

In this regard, we urge the Saudi authorities to overturn the judgment, which represents a grave uptick in the government’s repression of peaceful political opposition and freedom of expression in the Kingdom. In addition, we demand the release of all political prisoners and a probe into the abuses they endured.

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