The U.S. Department of State (DOS) sentenced Saudi Arabian citizen Saad Ibrahim Al-Madi to 16 years in prison on October 17 by Saudi authorities over critical social media posts he shared while in the U.S. I have confirmed that government.
“We have followed this incident closely. We have consistently and focusedly raised concerns about this incident at the senior level of the Saudi government … and will continue to do so,” said a DOS deputy. Officer Vedant Patel Press conference On Tuesday, he added that US officials had raised the issue in Riyadh “just yesterday.”
Patel noted that Washington first expressed its concerns to Riyadh about Almadi’s detention in December 2021.
Almadi, a 72-year-old retired project manager from Florida, was detained after traveling to the oil-rich kingdom to visit family in November 2021, his son Ibrahim told The Associated Press. He was found guilty of supporting terrorism on his October 3rd.
Ibrahim said his father had shared 14 “mild” posts on his personal Twitter account over the past seven years, most of which were critical of Saudi government policies and corruption allegations. Rather, he explained, he was a private person expressing his views while in the United States, where free speech is a constitutional right.
Details of Almadi’s imprisonment were first reported by The Washington Post. The newspaper reported that Almadi was accused of hiding terrorist ideology and trying to destabilize the kingdom.
“Exercising freedom of expression should never be criminalized,” Patel said at a briefing on Tuesday. A spokesman did not elaborate on what Almadi was charged with.
Patel also confirmed that there were no DOS officials at al-Madi’s sentencing hearings, and that Saudi Arabia moved up the hearing date without notifying the U.S. Embassy, which last accessed Al-Madi on August 10. It pointed out.
The DOS is in the process of determining whether Almadi will be designated as “wrongfully detained,” Patel said.
Ibrahim accused the DOS of ignoring his case by not declaring his father a “wrongfully detained” American.
“They manipulated me. They told me to keep quiet so they could kick him out. I’m not going to bet any more on the State Department.”
There was no immediate comment from Saudi officials.
The news comes as top groups in Congress Democrats aim to punish Saudi Arabia after OPEC+’s announcement to cut oil production by recalling US missile systems and other missiles and giving them to Ukraine instead. brought about at times.
Saudi Arabia imports a large number of weapons systems from the United States. Between 2009 and 2016, the Obama administration gave the kingdom her $115 billion in weapons, training and other military equipment, according to Reuters. report.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
from NTD News