A spokesperson for the US State Department said, on Wednesday, that the United States is looking into the case of a Saudi student who was sentenced to 34 years in prison because of her Twitter activity.
The exercise of freedom of expression in defense of women’s rights should not be criminalized. It should never be criminalized,” Ned Price of The Division He said at a press conferencenoting that the United States is “studying” the case and the verdict.
PhD student at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom Salma Al-Shehab Arrested last year during a visit To Saudi Arabia, due to Twitter activity critical of the Saudi government.
The Al-Shehab family may have been reported to the Saudi government through a crime reporting app, The Guardian wrote on WednesdayTo follow and retweet activists and opponents.
The court also ruled that her phone and her Twitter account should be confiscated and deleted. According to the Washington Post,.
“Freedom of expression is a principle we defend around the world. Anytime any government anywhere tramples on such a principle, we speak up and seek to defend this fundamental right that is as fundamental to individuals in Saudi Arabia as it is to any country,” Price said. all over the world.
President Biden He made a controversial trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this year, Where he met the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
It was Biden before Promise to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” On the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the United States.
Asked whether the soft relations between the two countries would give Saudi Arabia a license to act with impunity on issues such as the Al-Shehab case, Price said on Wednesday that recent US engagement, including Biden’s recent visit, “has made clear to our Gulf partners” and to the Saudis. . That “human rights are central to our agenda”.
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