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May 19, 2024 3:16 pm

Saudi Arabia releases US national Almadi from prison

In a surprising move, Saudi Arabia has released a US national, Walid Fitaihi Almadi, from prison after more than three years of detention. Almadi, who is a physician, was arrested in November 2017 along with dozens of other prominent businessmen, officials, and members of the royal family during a corruption crackdown spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The allegations against Almadi were not related to corruption, but rather to his social media activity and comments made at a conference in the US. He was charged with spreading rumors and harming public order, and had been held in detention without trial for over three years.

According to his family, Almadi was subjected to physical and psychological abuse during his time in detention, including being beaten and held in solitary confinement for extended periods.

The reasons for Almadi’s release are unclear, and there has been no official statement from the Saudi government. However, some analysts speculate that the move may be part of a broader effort by the Saudi authorities to improve their image on the world stage.

The release of Almadi comes amid heightened scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, including the recent release of a US intelligence report implicating the Saudi Crown Prince in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Almadi’s family expressed relief at his release, but also concern for the many others who remain in detention in Saudi Arabia without trial or due process. They called on the international community to continue to press for human rights reforms in the kingdom.

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