Saudi Arabia jails Sudanese journalist for 4 years over tweets
The 31-year old Sudanese journalist was detained on 19 April.
By News Desk - July 28 2021
A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) published on 27 July claims Sudanese journalist Ahmad Ali Abdelkader was sentenced on 8 June following a “short” trial in which he was allegedly denied access to a lawyer and the chance to defend himself.
Abdelkader worked in Saudi Arabia between 2015 and 2020. In December of last year he left the country before returning in April on a new work visa. It was then that Saudi authorities arrested him as soon as he arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on 19 April.
Prosecutors pointed to nine of Abdelkader’s tweets as well as two media interviews. In one tweet from September 2020, he predicted Sudan would not normalise relations with Israel unless Riyadh did so too, because Khartoum “cannot revolve outside Saudi Arabia’s orbit”. In another tweet from three years ago the Sudanese journalist accused Saudi Arabia of financing Islamic State fighters, and accused the kingdom’s media of being a “Zionist mouthpiece”.
His conviction asserts that he is guilty of posting tweets “insulting to the state’s institutions and symbols”, criticising Saudi-led forces in Yemen, speaking negatively about Saudi relations with Sudan and “appearing on media platforms loyal to parties hostile to the kingdom”, among several other charges.