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Home Feeds Saudi Arabia releases Saad Almadi, U.S. citizen imprisoned over tweets

Saudi Arabia releases Saad Almadi, U.S. citizen imprisoned over tweets


Saudi Arabia freed a 72-year-old U.S. citizen who had been imprisoned for the past 16 months over critical tweets about the country’s government and crown prince, his son said early Tuesday.

Saad Almadi, who also holds Saudi citizenship, was living in Florida when he was arrested by officials at Riyadh’s King Khalid Airport in November 2021. He was later sentenced to 19 years in prison for offenses including “supporting people with terrorist ideology,” his son, Ibrahim Almadi, said in a phone interview.

The charges against Saad, which were all dropped as part of his release, related to tweets he posted while in the United States that were critical of the Saudi government, some dating back to 2015, Ibrahim said.

“Saudi officials just digged, and they found some tweets against MBS, and they just used that against him as evidence of terrorism,” Ibrahim said, referring to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is often called by his initials.

In one of the tweets, Saad saluted the life of slain Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi and suggested that a street should be named his honor, Ibrahim said. In another, he suggested that all power in Saudi Arabia was concentrated in Mohammed’s hands, Ibrahim said.

Neither the State Department nor Saudi officials have commented publicly on Almadi’s release. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Tuesday.

Almadi is staying with family in Saudi Arabia and is unable to fly to the United States because of a travel ban that prohibits him from leaving Saudi Arabia, his son said.

Ibrahim, who said he spoke to his father on the phone briefly after his release, said Saad had lost 80 pounds after 16 months in prison, where he said his father did not receive adequate medical attention.

“It’s quite disgusting,” said Ibrahim, who welcomed his father’s release but said he was disappointed that he was being prevented from returning home to the United States.

“We’re not political dissidents. We’re proud Americans,” he said. “We have nothing to do with politics. We only want to live freely and happily in the United States.”

“I went to Knoxville Catholic High School,” he said. “What kind of terrorist sends their kid to a Catholic school?”

“We want him back. The fight is not done yet,” Ibrahim said. “He needs medical attention, and he wants to see his family in the States.”

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.