Lone Saudi Protester Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

When a Day of Rage was called for in Saudi Arabia back on March 11, 2011, only a handful of protesters challenged the heavy police presence and protested. Khaled al-Johani was the only one of them on tape. al-Johani spoke to a group of journalists who were brought by the Ministry of Culture and Information to the place where the protest was planned to happen and was arrested on the same day when he returned to his house. He was held until 25 July, 2012.

Many thought that he received a pardon. However, last Monday, the Riyadh Criminal Court held a session to issue the verdict in his case. Khaled's brother tweeted [ar]:

بعد مرور أكثر من أربعة اشهر تم الاتصال علينا من قبل المحامي وابلغنا بان المحاكمة ستستمر وان لكم جلسة قادمة في المحكمة الجزائية في الرياض

@I98A: After over four months [of his release], the lawyer called and told us that the trial will continue and a court session will be held in Riyadh Criminal Court.

He added:

كنت أثناء الجلسات أتوقع الحكم على أخي الفاضل خالد الجهني بالبراءة من حيثيات كثيرة

@I98A: During the session, I thought my dear brother Khaled al-Johani will be declared innocent of many charges.

And continued:

حكم على خالد الجهني بسنة ونصف و منع من السفر ثلاث سنوات وغرامة مالية ستمائة ريال و مصادرة أجهزته […]

@I98A: Khaled al-Johani was sentenced to a year and a half [in prison], banned from traveling for three years, fined six hundred riyals [~160 USD] and had his electronic devices confiscated […]

Activist Abdullah al-Hamid, who is being tried for his human rights activism, tweeted:

الحكم_على_خالد_الجهني بالسجن سنة ونصفا/ إعلان للعالم كله وبرهان على أن القضاء السعودي من مطارق قمع حقوق الإنسان إنها #المحاكمةالسرية

@ Abubelal_1951: The sentence on Khaled al-Johani to a year and a half in prison is an announcement to the whole world that the Saudi judiciary is a tool to suppress human rights. This is [the result of] secret trials.

Mohammad al-Olayan, who was detained for 36 days for a human rights sign, tweeted:

[…] لقول الحق ثمن نحن مستعدون على دفعه، ولا بد من التضحية ليزول الظلم… كان الله في عونك ياخالد وفي عوننا على عونك…

2wordsprisoner: Saying the truth has a price and we are willing to pay that price. We have to sacrifice for the injustice to end. May god help you Khaled, and may He help us help you.

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