A Saudi court has sentenced a doctoral student to 34 years in prison for spreading “rumours” and retweeting dissidents, according to court documents obtained Thursday, a decision that has drawn growing global condemnation.
Activists and lawyers consider the sentence against Salma al-Shehab, a mother of two and a researcher at Leeds University in Britain, shocking compared to other rulings in Saudi Arabia for similar offences.
So far unacknowledged by the kingdom, the ruling comes amid Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on dissent even as his rule granted women the right to drive and other new freedoms in the ultraconservative Islamic nation.
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