RNA - The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that Mohammed al-Hudhaif was sentenced to five years in jail after being found guilty of “ insulting a friendly country.”
The post added that Saudi officials passed the ruling against Hudhaif at the end of a “secret trial” in late May.
The writer had reportedly published posts on his Twitter page, warning about the threats the neighboring United Arab Emirates poses to the Riyadh regime, and the fiendish plans that Emirati officials have for the Middle East region.
The report came only a few days after human rights activists said prominent Saudi Muslim preacher and political dissident Salman al-Odah, who has been in prison since September 2016, has been transferred from Dhahban Central Prison in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah to al-Ha'ir Prison in the capital Riyadh, and is about to stand a secret trial.
Earlier this week, Prisoners of Consciousness also reported that political dissident and Muslim preacher Sheikh Suleiman al-Doweesh had lost his life due to severe torture he was subjected to during criminal investigations.
According to Press TV, Saudi Arabia has recently stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
Saudi officials have also intensified security measures in the Shia-populated and oil-rich Eastern Province.
Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.
The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.
Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.
In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.