A retired teacher in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to death for his social media posts, as reported by The Gateway Pundit.

Saudi Court Sentences Retired Teacher to Death for Criticizing Corruption

A Saudi court has sentenced Muhammad al-Ghamdi, a retired teacher, to death over five tweets in which he criticized corruption and human rights violations. This case highlights the crackdown on free speech and dissent in Saudi Arabia.

According to Human Rights Watch, al-Ghamdi was arrested last year and given limited access to a lawyer before his conviction in July. The charges against him include undermining religion or justice, supporting a terrorist ideology, communication with a terrorist entity, and publishing false news with the intention of executing a terrorist crime. Tweets, retweets, and YouTube activity were all used as evidence to convict him.

Al-Ghamdi’s case has drawn international attention, with his brother, Saeed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi, a well-known Saudi Islamic scholar and government critic living in the United Kingdom, speaking out against the ruling. He claimed that the court did not consider the medical reports indicating his brother’s chronic neurological diseases and neglected to acknowledge his deteriorating health. Al-Ghamdi’s defense during the investigation included references to detained scholars such as Awad Al-Qarni, Salman Al-Awda, Safar Al-Hawali, and Ali Al-Omari.

Critics argue that the sentencing is politically motivated, aimed at silencing dissenting voices and stifling any criticisms of the Saudi royal family. Al-Ghamdi’s case is not an isolated incident, as Saudi Arabia has a history of punishing individuals who speak out against the government. Human Rights Watch has documented numerous cases of activists, journalists, and intellectuals being detained and prosecuted for their opinions.

The court documents reviewed by Human Rights Watch reveal that al-Ghamdi was convicted under various articles of Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism law. Article 30 prohibits the description of the King or the Crown Prince in a way that undermines religion or justice, while article 34 criminalizes the support of a terrorist ideology. Article 43 pertains to communication with a terrorist entity, and article 44 deals with the publishing of false news with the intention of executing a terrorist crime. The judgment states that al-Ghamdi used his social media accounts, including Twitter and YouTube, to commit these “crimes.”

The public prosecutor sought the maximum penalties for all charges against al-Ghamdi, arguing that his actions targeted the status of the King and the Crown Prince. The court justified the death sentence by emphasizing the magnitude of his actions, which occurred through a global media platform and, in their view, warranted strict punishment.

It is worth noting that al-Ghamdi’s social media accounts had a low number of followers. One account had only two followers, while the other had eight. Additionally, the accounts had fewer than 1,000 tweets combined, mostly consisting of retweets from well-known critics of the Saudi government.

This case has sparked outrage among human rights advocates and activists worldwide. Harmeet K. Dhillon, an attorney and civil rights activist, described the situation as the extreme terminus of thought policing coupled with dictatorship. The international community has called for al-Ghamdi’s release and an end to the repression of freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on dissent and free speech is part of a broader pattern of human rights abuses in the country. The kingdom faces constant criticism for its treatment of women, religious minorities, and political dissidents. The international community must continue to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its actions and pressure the government to respect universal human rights standards.

In conclusion, the sentencing of Muhammad al-Ghamdi to death for criticizing corruption and human rights violations highlights the Saudi government’s intolerance of dissent and its commitment to suppressing free speech. This case serves as a reminder of the need to protect and promote fundamental human rights and hold governments accountable for their actions. The international community must continue to advocate for al-Ghamdi’s release and demand reforms in Saudi Arabia to ensure the right to freedom of expression for all its citizens.