Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Saudi Arabia: Journalist Sentenced to Seven Years of Imprisonment

(Feb. 7, 2017) On January 26, 2017, a Saudi journalist was sentenced to seven years in prison after a Saudi Arabian court convicted him of committing crimes against the national security of the state.  (Saudi Writer Jailed for Seven Years, KUWAIT TIMES (Jan. 26, 2017).)  The Criminal Court of Riyadh, which is a specialized court that adjudicates crimes related to terrorism, found 40-year-old journalist Nadhir al-Majid guilty of participating in unauthorized protests against the state and of establishing links with foreign media outlets to provide them with information that could have harmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  (Saudi Activist Convicted of “Ties” with Foreign Journalists, ASIA NEWS (Jan. 27, 2017).)

News reports state that al-Majid was not accompanied by a defense attorney or any of his family members during the trial hearings.  (Saudi Writer Jailed for Seven Years, supra.)  According to a report issued by the Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda, there is a concern that the Saudi authorities might refuse to deliver a copy of the verdict to al-Majid’s family.  If that happens, it might prevent the family from seeking an appeal of his sentence at the Court of Appeal.  (Saudi Arabian Writer Nadhir Al-Majid Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison, Human Rghts Network for Journalists – Uganda website (Jan. 27, 2017).)