The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

Seven Cyber Activists jailed in Saudi Arabia, facing 5-10 years

Photo credit: zoonabar @flikr

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported that 7 activists in Saudi Arabia were arrested in September 2012 for encouraging protests through Facebook. Although none of the activists directly took part in demonstrations, they were tried in anti-Terrorism court in April 2013 and sentenced on June 24.

The sentences range from 5 to 10 years, the longest of which was for an individual who launched two Facebook groups explaining the best peaceful protest techniques.

The HRW have reported that several of the activists claimed they were tortured into signing confessions.

“Sending people off to years in prison for peaceful Facebook posts sends a strong message that there’s no safe way to speak out in Saudi Arabia”- Joe Stork, Human Rights Watch

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