10-year jail for online Saudi purveyor of lies and hatred


A citizen has been sentenced to 10 years in jail in Riyadh for using his social media accounts to spread malicious rumors about the Kingdom.

“The unnamed Saudi national’s motives were detrimental to public order and society. He was a purveyor of absolute lies … to misinform,” a report quoted a statement of the Special Criminal Court as saying.

The court ruled that his sentence would run from the time he was arrested two years ago, and for his phone to be confiscated and social media and e-mail accounts deleted. There would also be a travel ban once released.

The man had set up a channel on YouTube, which the court found he used to spread rumors about the Kingdom and Arab rulers, whom he described as “tyrants.”

He also followed and watched channels broadcasting derogatory statements about the Kingdom and participated in rallies and demonstrations, which the authorities had dispersed. He also actively participated in a protest rally that demanded the release of a detainee. The rally took place near the house of the detainee whose name was not mentioned.

“The judge based his decision to convict the offending Saudi on a discretionary basis since punishment for the offense is not provided for under Shariah,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the court sentenced another citizen to three and a half years in prison after he was found guilty of supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon, on the pretext of backing the war against Israel.

He had a copy of the banned party’s flag and a logo with “Al-Nimr, the party’s symbol,” written on it, in reference to a terrorist, Nimr Al-Nimr, executed by the Kingdom recently.

The defendant was also found guilty of assaulting two people and drug abuse. His sentence includes 50 lashes, and a travel ban equal to his jail sentence once released.


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