The Saudi Arabian authorities have freed a prisoner with dual Saudi-US citizenship after widespread pressure for his release, Associated Press has reported. Saad Almadi, 72, has lived in Florida for years, and was visiting his homeland when he was arrested a year ago.
His son Ibrahim Almadi said that the court dropped all charges against his father, but did not clarify whether his father could travel outside the Kingdom. The criminal court specialising in terrorism cases sentenced Almadi to 19 years in prison after an indictment was filed against him based on tweets in which he criticised Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Almadi’s arrest became a matter of public discussion in human rights and democratic political circles in the US. The Saudi authorities have detained thousands of twitter users, preachers, writers and journalists because of their political views. Some have had astonishingly disproportionate prison sentences imposed on them of 25 years and more.
“We have raised our concerns consistently and extensively regarding this issue at the highest levels of the Saudi government, and we will continue to do so,” said the White House about Almadi’s case last October.
READ: Saudi Arabia increases US citizen’s sentence to 19 years over tweets