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BREAKING U.K NEWS: A Leeds University student who returned home to Saudi Arabia on holiday has been jailed for 34 years over her Twitter activity.

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#AceBreakingNews – Salma al-Shehab, 34, a Saudi citizen with two kids, was detained in early 2021 and later hauled before a terrorism tribunal according to MetroUK by Thursday 18 Aug 2022 10:17 am

Leeds student sentenced to 34 years in prison in Saudi Arabia for using Twitter
Salma al-Shehab tweeted calls to release political prisoners (Picture: Democracy Now)

Ms al-Shehab had recently active on the social media network, often posting about political prisoners in the Gulf state.

She retweeted a number of comments calling for the release of activists such as Loujain al-Hathloul, who was imprisoned at the time for defying the country’s ban on women driving even though it had been lifted three years earlier.

In another post, she wrote: ‘Freedom for the prisoners of patriarchal systems and shame and disgrace for the jailer!’

Ms al-Shehab, a specialist in dentistry who was studying for a PhD in Leeds, occasionally tweeted support in favour of mild reforms such as ‘investing in the digital revolution’.

She otherwise shared family photos, songs and quotes from literature.

The sentence, said to be the longest ever handed to any activist in the country’s modern history, followed her conviction for ”undermining the security of society and the stability of the state’.

In Saudi Arabia, women?s rights defender Salma al-Shehab has been sentenced to 34 years in prison over her advocacy. It?s reportedly the longest sentence ever given to a Saudi women?s rights activist. Al-Shehab was initially sentenced to a six-year prison term over tweets she posted critical of Saudi Arabia?s treatment of women. But an appeals court last week increased the sentence to 34 years behind bars and banned al-Shehab from leaving the kingdom for an additional 34 years. Human rights advocates warn of worsening conditions for Saudi women as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman intensifies his crackdown on dissent.
Salma’s six-year sentence has been increased six-fold after a court appeal (Picture: ESOHR)

She was also found guilty of ‘providing aid to those who seek to disrupt public order’ and ‘spreading false rumours’, according to human rights groups.

She was initially sentenced to six years’ jail late last year but the Saudi Court of Appeal overturned the sentence last week and raised her sentence nearly six-fold.

The 34-year-old’s Twitter activity suggests she had been reported by a stranger on a crime-reporting app that Saudi users of Apple and Android smartphones can download.

The app, called Kollona Amn, or ‘We Are All Security’, boasts of enabling citizens ‘to play the role of a police officer’ and is advertised by the Saudi government.

Besides her twitter activity, Ms al-Shehab had also been ‘active during campaigns demanding the lifting of the guardianship system over women by their male relatives’, the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) said.

Leeds student sentenced to 34 years in prison in Saudi Arabia for using Twitter Salma al-Shehab was interviewed by Al Thaqafia TV at the 2014 Riyadh International Book Fair Credit Al Thaqafia TV
The dentistry expert had previously campaigned against male guardianship (Picture: Al Thaqafia TV)

The group said her sentence is ‘unprecedented and dangerous, as it is the longest prison sentence issued against female or male activists and might be a step towards further escalation against them.’

It added: ‘In recent years, many women activists have been subjected to unfair trials that have led to arbitrary sentences, in addition to some of them being subjected to severe torture, including sexual harassment.

‘In recent years, the Saudi government has arrested at least 116 women, 60 of whom are still detained, and ESOHR monitored the death of one woman in prison.

‘Under the policy of impunity, no one has been held accountable for the abuses women were subjected to in prisons, despite the filing of multiple complaints of torture and ill-treatment.’

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.18: 2022:

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