DIKSIA.COM - In a chilling display of power, Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to death for his online activities on the now-defunct platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), and his YouTube presence. The decision has ignited a storm of criticism from the global community.
The condemned individual is Mohammed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi, whose detachment stems from his vocal criticisms of the Saudi Arabian government. This incident is not an isolated one; Salma al-Shehab, a doctoral student, was previously sentenced to a staggering 34 years in prison for a single tweet.
According to ABC News, as of Saturday, September 2, 2023, this death sentence stands as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's resolved effort to quell dissent within the kingdom. Lina Alhathloul, a member of the ALQST Foundation based in London and a prominent voice for change, weighed in on the matter.
“The death penalty handed down to Al-Ghamdi for a mere tweet is deeply unsettling, yet tragically aligned with the increasing severity of the Saudi government's actions,” Alhathloul commented.
“The long-term imprisonment sentences doled out for exercising one's freedom of speech, such as the 27-year sentence against Salma al-Shehab, have largely gone unprotested. Authorities have taken this as a green light to escalate their suppression. They are sending an unequivocal and chilling message that no one is safe, and that even a tweet can cost you your life,” she continued.
Court documents reveal that al-Ghamdi's charges include ‘apostasy,' ‘disturbing public security,' conspiring against the government, and ‘defaming the kingdom and the crown prince.'
Al-Ghamdi, a retired school teacher residing in the holy city of Mecca, is not the only critic within his family. His brother, Saeed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi, is a well-known government critic living in the United Kingdom. Saeed believes that the Saudi government's actions are an attempt to force his return to his home country.
“This bogus decision is aimed at personally infuriating me after failed attempts to repatriate me to this country,” he wrote on Twitter last Thursday.