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According to court documents, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced a graduate student to 34 years in prison for spreading “rumors” and retweets of dissidents. The decision is drawing growing condemnation around the world.
Activists and lawyers say the sentence of Salma al-Shehab, a mother of two and a researcher at the University of Leeds in the UK, is shocking even by Saudi justice standards.
< br /> The decision comes amid a crackdown on dissent by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite his rule granting women the right to drive and other new freedoms in the ultra-conservative Islamic country.
Al-Shehab was detained during a family vacation on January 15, 2021, just days before she planned to return to the United Kingdom, according to the Freedom Initiative, a Washington-based advocacy group.
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