Salma tuomittiin 27 vuoden vankeuteen twiittien tähden

Salma tuomittiin 27 vuoden vankeuteen twiittien tähden

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Saudi-Arabia: vapauttakaa epäreilusti tuomittu tohtoriopiskelija ja kahden lapsen äiti Salma al-Shehab välittömästi ja ehdoitta!



Waleed Mohammed Al Smani
Minister of Justice
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Postal Code 11472, P.O. Box 7775

Your Excellency,

I am alarmed to learn that the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, resentenced Salma al-Shehab, an academic and mother of two, to 27 years in prison followed by a 27-year travel ban on 25 January, after the Supreme Court returned her case to the SCC’s appeals chamber to look into it again.

The SCC – once again- convicted Salma of terrorism related offences including “supporting those who seek to disrupt public order, destabilize security and the stability of the state” and publishing tweets that “disturb public order, destabilize the security of society and the stability of the state.” These charges arose from the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of expression through tweets she published on her account in support of women’s rights. She has been on a hunger strike since 23 March in protest against her arbitrary detention and unfair trial.

Salma al-Shehab’s trial began on 25 October 2021. According to court documents reviewed by Amnesty International, she was detained in solitary confinement for 285 days before she was brought to trial, in violation of international fair trial standards and Saudi Arabia’s own Law on Criminal Procedures. She had no access to legal representation throughout her pre-trial detention, including during interrogations. In March 2022, the SCC sentenced Salma al-Shehab to six years in prison under the counter-terrorism law.

At her appeal trial in August 2022, the prosecution demanded a harsher punishment. The SCC then increased her sentence to 34 years. Salma appealed that judgement again, and in January 2023, the Supreme Court referred her case back to the SCC’s appeals chamber to re-examine it. The court dropped the cybercrime charges against her but confirmed other charges under the counter-terrorism law, ultimately sentencing her to 27 years imprisonment.

I urge you to order the immediate and unconditional release of Salma al-Shehab and the quashing of her conviction and sentence as she is being held solely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression. I also call on you to stop equating the exercise of freedom of expression with “terrorism”, and to repeal or substantially amend the counter-terrorism and anti-cybercrime laws which criminalize peaceful dissent, and enact new laws that are fully compatible with international human rights standards.

Yours sincerely,