In continuation to the pressure exerted by human rights organisations, activists, and various media outlets, we at Sanad contacted the US State Department to clarify all the details related to the death sentence issued against citizen Muhammad Nasser Al-Ghamdi.
In response, the US State Department contacted the Saudi authorities to inquire about the truth and circumstances surrounding the issuance of a death sentence against Muhammad Al-Ghamdi. They demanded clarification regarding the concerns raised by human right organisations and the media. In their response to the US State Department, the Saudi authorities acknowledged that Muhammad Al-Ghamdi had been sentenced to death but stated that the allegations against him were not those reported by media.
In turn, the US State Department contacted us to request documents (obtained by Sanad) that substantiate what was widely reported regarding this incident, namely that the Specialised Criminal Court sentenced Al-Ghamdi to death due to tweets on a fake Twitter account with less than 10 followers.
We in Sanad were not surprised by the Saudi government’s response, as the authorities are acclimated to denying the truth and attempting to circumvent it. What is odd, however, is that the Saudi Crown Prince appeared on American television and verified that he was aware that a death sentence had been issued against a person because of his tweets and that he viewed this as a disgrace.
This incident and others like it demonstrate that the Saudi judiciary is not independent and is politicised, that the Specialised Criminal Court (Terrorism Court) is merely a cover for the regime to implement unjust rulings against activists and those demanding rights and freedoms, and that it is impossible, given how things are managed in Saudi Arabia, for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be unaware of the rulings or even to have a direct influence.