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Saudi Arabia Frees American Citizen Jailed For Criticizing Crown Prince

Dual U.S.-Saudi citizen Saad Almadi was released from Saudi prison Monday and reportedly had all his charges dropped after previously receiving a 19-year sentence over tweets against the country’s authorities, according to The Associated Press.

Saad Almadi had tweeted critically from his Florida home about issues including the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which U.S. authorities believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered, as well as the Saudi government’s violation of civil rights and imprisonment of dissidents, the outlet reported. Saudi authorities arrested Saad Almadi in 2021 when he visited the country to see family, initially sentencing him to 16 years in prison for the tweets that they argued were equivalent to terrorist acts.

U.S. officials have frequently attempted to secure Almadi’s release.

Saad Almadi has been reunited with family members in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, his son Ibrahim Almadi reported, saying they are now working against a government-imposed ban on Saad Almadi traveling outside of Saudi Arabia, according to the AP. Ibrahim Almadi said his father’s health and weight have declined significantly in prison.

“We are relieved that Saad Almadi has been released, but he should have never spent a day behind bars for innocuous tweets,” Freedom Initiative Saudi director Abdullah said, the AP reported.

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