US Lawmakers Urge Bin Salman to Release Detainees Due to Social Media Posts

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman calling for the release of political prisoners held over Twitter tweets.

The letter, signed by 21 Democrats and one Republican, criticized bin Salman for “violating the rights of the citizens of Saudi Arabia” and accused him of undermining “global political freedom.” Legislators called his arrests “barbaric courts.”

“When you first came to power, you talked about making Saudi Arabia more open and tolerant,” the lawmakers said in a letter. “You promised to reform the harsh laws and policies that hinder the development of the country. We really hoped that you were serious Instead, you have not just done more.” “You are trampling on your citizens’ rights to freedom of thought and freedom of expression, but you are undermining the fundamental freedoms that sovereign democracies seek to protect for our citizens. Attacks undermine global political freedom.”

They added: “We condemn your barbaric lawsuits and urge you to immediately order the release of every person who has been detained and imprisoned because of your tweets,” expressing their relief “when they learned that Saad Ibrahim Al-Madi was released from custody. this nightmare. But we are waiting to see if your government lifts the travel ban to allow him to return to his home in the United States.

The letter cites Amnesty International as saying that 15 people were sentenced to between 10 and 45 years in prison in Saudi Arabia in 2022 for “peaceful speech online”, indicating that as of February 2023 In 2009, the organization recorded 67 cases. who have been held accountable for exercising freedom of expression and assembly.

And they continued: “No person should spend a day, or 19, or 34 years behind bars because of the displeasure of the ruler of the government with their views,” and stressed that the people of Saudi Arabia have the right to their own ideas and express themselves without government agents separating them from their families and throwing them in jail.”

Source: Hill

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