Saudi jails activist for 15 years

July 07, 2014 - 10:32:33 am

DUBAI: A Saudi court yesterday sentenced to 15 years in jail a prominent rights lawyer described by Amnesty as a prisoner of conscience, relatives said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The tweet said that Waleed Abulkhair, who has had many run-ins with the authorities over his activism and for allegedly insulting authorities, was also banned from travelling abroad for 15 years and fined 200,000 riyals (around $54,000).

His wife, Samar Badawi, in a telephone interview with AFP, stressed that Abulkhair contested the ruling and refused to recognise it.

“Waleed does not recognise the legitimacy of this court, refuses to accept its verdict and has no intention to appeal,” as allowed under the law, said Badawi.

He was convicted on a series of charges, she said, including “undermining the regime and officials” as well as “inciting public opinion” and “undermining judicial authorities”.

Abulkhair has been under arrest since April 16.

On bail for having held unauthorised meetings of reformists, he was ordered to be put under arrest as he attended a fifth hearing, accused of insulting authorities in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Libya to announce poll results on July 20

TRIPOLI: Libya will announce results of last month’s parliamentary elections on July 20, the head of the elections commission said yesterday, pushing back the results another week.

Fewer than half of registered Libyans voted, reflecting disillusionment with the chaos prevailing since Gaddafi’s overthrow. The government and outgoing parliament have failed to produce security and curb militias who helped oust Gaddafi but now defy state authority.Agencies

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