Saudi jails 7 for inciting protests via Facebook
London: Saudi Arabian court has reportedly sentenced seven men five to ten years in prison on charges of inciting protests by using Facebook.
According to BBC, the men were arrested in September last year but their trial began this year in April and they were charged for posting online messages to encourage protests, although they were not accused of directly taking part in demonstrations.
The report said that the men admitted contributing to Facebook pages supporting the leading Shia cleric Tawfiq al-Amer, who was held in February 2011 after calling for a constitutional monarchy and the maximum sentence of ten years in prison was given to an activist who set up two Facebook groups allegedly explaining the best protest techniques.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the men were charged for inciting protests and harming public order adding that several of the defendants said that they had been tortured into signing confessions.
The trial was heard in an anti-terrorism court which has barred the men from travelling for additional periods.
HRW`s deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork said that sending people off to years in prison for peaceful Facebook posts sends a strong message that there`s no safe way to speak out in Saudi Arabia, even on online social networks.
The HRW has urged the European Union to condemn the latest convictions ahead of a meeting with the Gulf leaders, the report added.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Boyfriend murders DU student Arzu Singh; hides body in his house for three days
- International Fleet Review: India shows off naval prowess in "Operation Demo"
- Declared unfit for employment, man invents cost-effective electric car called Pixie!
- Can comments on social media against politicians land you in jail?
- Is Pakistan trying to divert India from issue of terrorism?
- India vs Sri Lanka 2016, 1st T20I: Squads, date, time, TV listing, live streaming
- WATCH: When PM Modi took his supporters by surprise, came to meet them standing on car's side foot step
- SSC CGL 2016 exam dates out; read the eligibility criteria, registration details
- Bangladesh scraps China-proposed deep sea port, India offers help to develop another
- PSL 2016 T20, Match 7: Quetta Gladiators vs Peshawar Zalmi – Key players