[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
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.