[QODLink]
Middle East

Saudi Arabia jails 13 for security offences

Men handed sentences up to a decade for aiding and financing conflicts abroad, conspiring, and harbouring suspects.

Last updated: 14 Apr 2014 08:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Saudi will impose sentences up to 20 years on any Saudi national who travels overseas to fight [EPA]

A Saudi Arabian court has jailed 13 men, handing down sentences from one to 10 years, for aiding and financing conflicts abroad, conspiring inside Saudi Arabia and harbouring wanted suspects, state news agency SPA reports.

Other charges for which the 13 were convicted on Sunday included money laundering, bribery and possession of illegal weapons. They were all given travel bans to come into force after their sentences finished. Another seven men were acquitted, SPA reported.

Saudi courts have sentenced hundreds of convicted fighters to prison terms in recent months as they work to overcome a long backlog of cases related to an anti-government campaign last decade that killed hundreds.

The security forces detained thousands of people after the bombings and shootings started in 2003. They were accused of security offences, including joining extremist groups and fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'Peaceful' dissidents

Saudi and international human rights groups have also accused the government of using its crackdown to detain peaceful dissidents in the kingdom, something the authorities deny.

In February King Abdullah issued a royal decree imposing prison terms of three to 20 years on any Saudi national who travels overseas to fight, and of five to 30 years on anyone who gives moral or material support to groups the government considers extremist.

The move reflected the government's fears that the civil war in Syria, where many rebels fighting against the government are extremists, coupled with Egypt's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, will inspire radicalism inside the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is a leading supporter of both the Syrian rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, and of Egypt's military rulers.

 

261

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list