By Imran Khan • 15 January 2023 • 13:21
Saudi Arabian professor sentenced to death for using Twitter and WhatsApp.
Photo by Sakhorn
A 65-year-old law professor from Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to death, after being convicted for having a Twitter account and sharing news through Whatsapp.
Awad Al-Qarni was arrested in September 2017, just as Mohammad Bin Salman took the reign of the kingdom.
After his arrest, the decision by the Saudi government faced major criticism, as the move was considered as a crackdown against dissent.
But now the details of the death penalty charges against him have been revealed by his son Nasser, as per the Guardian.
Nasser reportedly fled the Kingdom in 2022 and presently resides in the UK, where he is seeking asylum protection.
Projected as a dangerous preacher by the local state-controlled media, Al-Qarni is considered to be a well-regarded intellectual, who has over 2 million followers on Twitter.
The court documents shared by his son also show that the criminalisation of using social media in Saudi Arabia has increased since Salman´s reign.
The charges as per the documents for which Al-Qarni faces the death penalty include his admission of using a Twitter social media account, and “using it at every opportunity … to express his opinions”.
The document also states that he admitted participating in WhatsApp chats where he was in a video praising the Muslim Brotherhood.
Such charges have been put against him despite the fact that the Saudi government, along with state-controlled investors, have increased their financial stake in platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Aside from this, the country’s sovereign wealth fund and public investment fund have also separately increased their stake in Facebook and Meta.
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