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Saudi Government Jails 72-Year-Old Ibrahim Almadi For 16 years

Saad Ibrahim Almadi

A 72-year-old US citizen is imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for 16 years due to “critical” Twitter remarks.

Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a 72-year-old American citizen, was sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Saudi Arabian government over tweets he posted while living in the US, some of which were critical of the Saudi government.

Almadi’s son allegedly stated that the Saudi government mistreated his father while he was detained and that the State Department handled the case poorly, according to The Washington Post.

Numerous dictatures unfairly imprison Americans. The Biden administration has made a lot of effort to secure the release of prominent Americans held in Iran, Venezuela, and Russia; but, it has been less vociferous and less successful in gaining the release of US nationals held in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is theoretically a US ally, but under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the Saudi government is treating its opponents who are US citizens worse than ever. Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a Saudi American, is involved in the most recent and worst event.

It was learned that Florida-based project manager Almadi, who was jailed, had chosen to use his right to free speech inside the country.

However, he was jailed last November when he went to Riyadh to see family because of 14 tweets that were sent from his account over the previous seven years. The contributing columnist to The Washington Post who was killed by Saudi agents inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018 was mentioned in one of the linked tweets. Other tweets criticized the policies of the Saudi government and the level of corruption there.

He was accused of supporting terrorism, attempting to undermine the kingdom, and harboring a terrorist mindset. In addition, Ibrahim was accused of neglecting to notify terrorism in connection with tweets he wrote from a different account.

On October 3, Almadi received a 16-year prison term. In addition, he was given a 16-year travel ban. If he completes his sentence, he will be released from prison at the age of 87 and must live to the age of 104 before he may travel back to the United States.

Almadi son said, “I feel empty inside. I feel dead inside. I feel betrayed. He’s not only my father, he’s my best friend. He is everything to me.”

Since his imprisonment, Ibrahim had been working behind the scenes to get the US government to assist in securing his father’s release. But now, enraged and desperate, he demands that the American people hear his father’s story. Almadi was imprisoned among real terrorists, forced to live in poverty, and subjected to torture all while the Saudi authorities threatened to take everything away from his family if they didn’t keep quiet.

Ibrahim was instructed by the State Department to keep quiet about the situation, but he no longer thinks that doing so will result in his father’s release. Additionally, he claims that the State Department handled his father’s matter carelessly and ineptly.

Almadi wasn’t seen by anyone from the American Embassy in Riyadh until May 2022, six months after his incarceration. Almadi decided not to request the intervention of the American administration at that conference. Ibrahim claimed that Saudi detainees who involve other governments in their cases face threats of torture from their guards. Almadi did request the State Department’s help in his case at a second consular encounter in August. He was then tortured, according to Ibrahim.

Ibrahim traveled to Washington in the same month to demand action in his father’s case. His main demand was that Almadi be listed as a “U.S. citizen wrongfully jailed.” This classification would give Almadi’s case more weight in the eyes of the American government and transfer the file from the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA), which has a wider range of tools to secure the release of Americans wrongfully detained abroad, to the State Department’s Consular Affairs bureaucracy.

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