(NewsGlobal.com)- Earlier this month a man with dual Saudi and US citizenship was sentenced to 16 years in prison over posting tweets critical of Saudi Arabia.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that Saad Ibrahim Almadi, 72, had been tortured and sentenced to prison on terrorism-related charges over 14 tweets he posted over the course of seven years in which he criticized the Saudi government and accused it of corruption.
Almadi, a retired project manager from Florida, was arrested in November 2021 when he was visiting Saudi Arabia. Among the offending tweets, Almadi references Jamal Khashoggi, the Qatari asset who frequently contributed columns to the Washington Post. Khashoggi was allegedly murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
All of the tweets Almadi posted were written while he was in the United States.
But in November 2021, Almadi flew to Riyadh to visit family. On his arrival at the airport, he was detained by authorities. Almadi’s son, Ibrahim Almadi told the Washington Post that his father’s criticisms of the Saudi government were “what I would call mild.”
Almadi was charged with harboring a terrorist ideology, supporting and funding terrorism, and attempting to destabilize the Saudi kingdom. He was also charged with failing to report terrorism, a charge related to tweets Almadi posted from a separate account.
Speaking to reporters last Tuesday, State Department deputy press secretary Vedant Patel confirmed the Washington Post’s reporting. Patel said the State Department has repeatedly raised its concerns about the case with senior levels of the Saudi government.
However, Ibrahim Almadi blasted the State Department over its handling of his father’s case. He told the Associated Press that State Department officials “manipulated” him, telling him to stay quiet about his father’s detention so they could secure his release. Ibrahim told the AP that he is no longer willing to “take a gamble on the Department of State.”
According to Ibrahim, his father was tortured after his family contacted the State Department in March.