Prominent Saudi journalist jailed over ‘insulting tweets’
Alaa Brinji, above, has been jailed for five years and handed an eight-year travel ban for posting a series of tweets about human rights. He was also fined 50,000 riyals (£9,410).
According to this report, his tweets were in support of prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders and support for women’s right to drive cars.
Brinji was arrested in May 2014, held in solitary confinement and was denied access to a lawyer.
According to the country’s strict Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), Brinji was charged with “insulting the rulers of the country”, “inciting public opinion” and “accusing security officers of killing protesters in Awamiyya”.
He was also charged with “ridiculing Islamic religious figures” and “violating Article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law”.
James Lynch, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme called the sentencing “utterly shameful”.
He told Amnesty International:
He [Brinji] is the latest victim of Saudi Arabia’s ruthless crackdown on peaceful dissent, where the aim appears to be to completely wipe out any and all voices of criticism.
Meanwhile, it is reported here that a Saudi doctor has been arrested for flying a rainbow pride flag above his home in Jeddah.
He reportedly had no idea that the flag represented gay pride, saying that he had bought it from an online retailer after one of his children found the colours pretty.
The Saudi religious police, known as the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, arrested the man after he raised the flag on a three-meter pole above his home.
He was reportedly bailed after an investigation, and the flag was removed.