US citizen released from Saudi Arab jail


DUBAI: A US citizen sentenced to 19 years in a Saudi prison for social media posts criticising the country’s rulers has been released, his son said on Tuesday.

Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a 72-year-old of Saudi origin, was arrested in 2021 for what his son, Ibrahim, described as “mild” Twitter posts on topics including the war in Yemen and the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In October, a court handed Almadi a term of 16 years behind bars, which last month was lengthened to 19 years before his surprise release on Tuesday, Ibrahim said.

“Yes, he was freed” and “he’s in his Riyadh home”, Ibrahim said by phone from the United States, several hours after his father’s release.

A travel ban also imposed last year means he cannot leave the country, Ibrahim said.

But he added that he intends to lobby for his father’s return to the US so he can receive treatment for medical issues including back problems and diabetes. “The fight will continue… He needs to come get his medical treatment from the US,” Ibrahim said.

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