2 Saudis jailed for inciting violence via social media

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A criminal court in Riyadh has sentenced two Saudi political activists to 10 years and eight years in prison respectively for inciting violence in the eastern city of Awamiya using social media platforms.
Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Bikran, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry, said the first Saudi defendant was also fined SR100,000 for committing cyber crimes.
Both Saudis will be banned from traveling abroad for a period equal to their prison terms after completing their sentences, the spokesman said.
The two were found guilty of using sites such as Twitter and YouTube to encourage the families of detainees to stage demonstrations and sit-ins.
The second defendant was released the first time he was arrested after pledging never to incite dissidence again, the court said. But he went back on his promise, saying he was convinced that he was not doing anything wrong.
He was also convicted of defaming and making fun of the king, Saudi preachers and the judiciary.
The court said that he questioned the integrity of these people and also criticized security agencies that detained propagators of subversive thought. The defendant was also said to have supported the idea of fighting in war zones abroad.
In one instance, the defendant tried to flee from the authorities, crashing his car into the vehicle of officials of a law-enforcement authority. He also tried to dispose of his mobile phone so that authorities would not be able to view the content stored inside.
Five of the eight years were handed down for violating laws under the information act, while the remaining three years were given for other crimes.
Meanwhile, the court sentenced another Saudi, known as “King of Al-Nazim,” to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes, in addition to a life ban from driving.
Riyadh police forces arrested the driver for reckless endangerment in November 2012 after he appeared in video footage that had circulated on various social media platforms showing him, along with others, driving irresponsibly and endangering the lives of others.

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