Saudi Arabia sentences a man to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing his atheism on Twitter

Mar 15, 2016

Photo credit: Getty

By Ashley Cowburn

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing his atheism in hundreds of social media posts.

The report carried in Al-Watan says the 28-year-old man admitted to being an atheist and refused to repent, saying that what he wrote reflected his own beliefs and that he had the right to express them. The report did not name the man.

It added that ‘religious police’ in charge of monitoring social networks found more than 600 tweets denying the existence of God, ridiculing the Quranic verses, accusing all prophets of lies and saying their teaching fuelled hostilities. The court also fined him 20,000 riyals – or, just short of £4,000.

In 2014 the oil-rich kingdom, under the late Saudi King Abdullah, introduced a series of new laws which defined atheists as terrorists, according to a report released from Human Rights Watch.

In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, King Abdullah attempted to clamp down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could “harm public order”.

Article one of the new provisions defined terrorism as “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based”.


Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-sentence-man-to-10-years-in-prison-and-2000-lashes-for-expressing-his-atheism-on-a6900056.html

7 comments on “Saudi Arabia sentences a man to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing his atheism on Twitter

  • I’m never surprised when news of this sort emerges from SA, and deeply embarrassed that the United States maintains any sort of relationship with this barbaric and ridiculous nation.

    Steve



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  • @OP – In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, King Abdullah attempted to clamp down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could “harm public order”.

    In a country where women at not allowed to drive and “dissent” is repressed, this might shake up the old fogies!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35816887

    Three Royal Brunei Airlines pilots have made history by being the company’s first all-female flight crew, making their first journey to Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive.

    The women flew the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Brunei to Jeddah.

    The milestone coincided with Brunei’s National Day to celebrate independence.

    Last year women in Saudi Arabia cast their votes for the first time in municipal elections. A total of 978 women also registered as candidates.

    They were alongside 5,938 men and had to speak behind a partition while campaigning, or be represented by a man.

    The decision to allow women to take part was taken by the late King Abdullah and is seen as a key part of his legacy.

    The flight Captain was Sharifah Czarena, assisted by Senior First Officers Sariana Nordin and Dk Nadiah Pg Khashiem.

    .Captain Czarena trained in the UK and in December 2013 became the first Royal Brunei pilot to fly out of London Heathrow in its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

    She told The Brunei Times in 2012: “Being a pilot, people normally see it as being a male-dominant occupation.

    As a woman, a Bruneian woman, it is such a great achievement. It’s really showing the younger generation or the girls especially that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it.”

    Saudi Arabia is the world’s only country to forbid women from driving.

    While it is not technically illegal for women to drive, only men are awarded driving licences – and women who drive in public risk being fined and arrested by the police.

    I suppose a cockpit wall could be considered a “partition” to hide the women from view! 🙂



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  • The (unfortunate) lesson to be learned from this atrocious event, is that the only way to subvert these neanderthalian religious barbarian regimes, is :

    — First >>> To blog, post or tweet from the outside of the country (so far, and since the Savak, of dreadful memory —but it was in ”pre-ayatollahs” Iran— , it looks like no present-day islamic secret police have had the mission and the means to gun down subversive opponents in foreign lands…).

    — Second >>> To avoid, as much as possible, to leak any hint about one’s real life identity. Use encryption, one-way firewalls and ”TOR”-like proxies, for example. No police ‘expert’ in the entire world has ever been able to ‘break’ such filtering –let alone low-grade no-nuthing so-called ‘computer experts’ in these completely backward countries.

    Nothing could enrage bloodstained dictators more.. than a determined and slippery / elusive opponent ! Just like these ‘bad boys’ in 60’s black and white movies, who roused entire cinema theaters audiences by writing on every wall in the city : « I was here. Catch me if you can.. ».



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  • I really feel like trolling Saudi Arabian sites by talking about Atheism, but unfortunately I don’t know how. I don’t have the technical skills to leave a large digital footprint on Saudi sites.



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