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Family & Rights Groups Urge Release of Tunisian Woman Jailed in Saudi Arabia

The sister of a Tunisian woman jailed in Saudi Arabia over promoting Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement by retweeting only a post has called on Tunis authorities to intervene for her release from the kingdom’s prisons.

Leila Marzouki said he sister, Mahdia Marzouki, who worked as a midwife in Saudi Arabia, was arrested in 2020 after sharing a tweet about a pro-Hezbollah protest that had taken place in the capital, Tunis.

Leila said her sibling was earlier this year sentenced by a Saudi court to 30 months in jail but in September she was given a 15-year sentence following a new trial on alleged terror charges.

“We call on the Tunisian authorities to intervene in order to scrap the verdict and secure the release of my sister,” Leila Marzouki said.

Tunisian human rights groups also denounced the verdicts by the Saudi court against Marzouki and demanded her release.

The Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH) said in a statement that the verdict is “a grave violation of freedom of expression,” and a “crime” against all Tunisians.io

The LTDH also urged Tunisian authorities to press Riyadh to cancel the verdict and free Marzouki, echoing similar calls by the Tunisian Observatory of Human Rights.

Saudi Arabia, once a big investor in Lebanon, has shunned the country for years because of Hezbollah and its strong support within Lebanese society and political circles, putting the resistance movement on its so-called blacklist.

Saudi courts have in recent weeks sentenced several people to jail for tweeting and retweeting posts critical of the ultra-conservative regime in Riyadh. Among them were two Saudi women who have received decades-long sentences, and a US citizen of Saudi origin.

Ever since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became the de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.

Muslim scholars have been executed and women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured as freedom of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied by the kingdom’s authorities.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.

Source:presstv

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