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Saudi Human Rights Activist Sentenced To 8 Years in Prison

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia

Abdulkareem al-Khadar, a founding member of the Kingdom's defiant leading human rights organisation, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), was sentenced to eight years in prison for inciting public opinion and establishing an unlicensed human rights organization among other charges, five years of which to be suspended and applied only if the activist participates in any illegal assembly or association after his release.

Today's session was held in the Saudi Arabian city of Buraydah and it was attended by tens of ACPRA supporters, but the judge allowed no women, saying that “men are good enough.”

The first hearing session in Dr. al-Khadar's trial was on February 20th, when he asked the judge to withdraw from the case because of a previous personal conflict that they had had, but the judge refused. The same judge, Ibrahim al-Husni, previously sentenced peaceful protesters to be flogged.

Dr. al-Khadar (in the middle) before the beginning of a previous session. Image uploaded by @acprahr

Dr. al-Khadar (in the middle) before the beginning of a previous session. Image uploaded by @acprahr

Back in March, two other prominent human rights activists and co-founders of ACPRA were found guilty and sentenced to 10 and 11 years in jail for “breaking allegiance to the ruler and his successor” and “trying to impede the country’s developments”.

After today's session, al-Khadar's lawyer and ACPRA member Abdualziz al-Shubaily was held by police forces after a secret police member had accused him of “inappropriate behavior.” He was shortly released:

خرجت قبل قليل من مركز الشرطة الجنوبي بعدما اتهمني فرد من جهاز المباحث بعمل حركات غير لائقه له

@a_abdulaziz300: I was just released from the Southern Police Station after a secret police member had accused me of inappropriate behavior toward him.

Following the session, Saudi Twitter users started a hashtag: (#أنا_عضو_حسم) (I am an ACPRA member), where they wrote their names to declare their full support of ACPRA's positions and demands of political reforms.

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia

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