A court in Riyadh recently sentenced three attorneys to eight years in prison after they harshly criticized the Ministry of Justice on Twitter. They were also slapped with travel bans as well as an indefinite ban on media or social networking site appearance.
Charges that were slapped include interfering with judiciary independence, contempt of the judiciary, and critiquing the judiciary system via Twitter.
They were fined with over 1 million Saudi riyals by the legal committee of the Ministry of Culture and Information on the same charges. At the same time, the Ministry of Justice’s disciplinary committee took off their law licenses.
The same attorneys frequently used social media to air out their disappointment with the Ministry of Justice’s performance, most critically their failure to carry out reforms as part of a multi-billion dollar project in overhauling the judiciary as indicated by King Abdullah back in 2007.
Both the attorneys and prosecutor plan to appeal the latest sentence.