Saudi Arabia INCREASES prison sentence of US citizen jailed over a series of political tweets
Saudi Arabia’s ‘middle finger to Biden’: Kingdom increases US citizen’s sentence by three YEARS to 19 after White House condemned punishment over Khashoggi tweets
- US Citizen Saad Almadi has seen his time behind bars lengthened from 16 years to 19 years
- He was jailed in after posting several tweets critical of the Saudi government
- His son Ibrahim said the Saudi’s decision is ‘a middle finger’ to President Biden
The son of a US citizen who was jailed in Saudi Arabia has slammed the Biden administration’s attempts to free his father after his prison sentence was lengthened by an extra three years.
Saad Almadi has seen his time behind bars lengthened from 16 years to 19 years after he was imprisoned for a series of tweets criticizing the Saudi government in 2019.
The political prisoner’s son Ibrahim slammed the handling of his father’s case after the US State Department told him his father would spend even longer in prison.
He told The Post: ‘It’s not a slap in the face, it’s a middle finger.
‘When the US asked for an appeal, they said “Here you go, 19 years!”.
Saad Almadi was imprisoned after he posted a series of tweets criticizing the Saudi government
The political prisoner’s son has hit out at the Biden administration’s efforts to free his father. Pictured is President Biden, left, with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, right
He noted that his father has lost ‘more than 80 pounds’ behind bars, after an arrest which was triggered when he targeted the Saudi regime in a series of tweets.
Almadi, a 72-year-old retired project manager who was living in Florida, was arrested in November 2021 while visiting family in Saudi Arabia.
The White House has made several remarks hitting out at Almadi’s treatment, although Biden has not directly commented on it.
Ibrahim pointed to the recent release of Brittney Griner as he criticized the Biden administration’s efforts to free his father.
He particularly hit out at the State Department’s refusal to officially condemn Almadi’s case as ‘wrongfully detained’, a move that would increase pressure on the Saudi government to release him from prison.
‘The only way for my father to get out is through ‘wrongful detention’, he said.
‘That’s how [WNBA star] Brittney Griner got out …. that’s what works with dictators.’
The White House says it has made steps to free Almadi, and in a White House press briefing on October 19, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said his case was a ‘priority’ for the administration.
‘The Saudi government understands the priority we attach to resolving this matter,’ she said.
‘Exercising the freedom of expression should never be criminalized.’
A week after Jean-Pierre’s remarks, the US government’s stance was reiterated by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
He told reporters: ‘We respect and understand and sympathize with the anguish (of Almadi’s family). We continue to work on these cases all around the world, as much as we can.’
Saad Almadi’s son has suggested the White House has taken a soft stance on his father’s detention in Saudi Arabia
The prisoner’s son implied that the US government has taken too soft a stance against the Saudi government to ensure his father’s release.
He said: ‘Using a carrot doesn’t work with (Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman), he only works with a stick.’
After Biden failed to pressure the crown prince when the two met last year, Ibrahim accused the president of ‘selling’ his father for oil.
He also suggested that former President Donald Trump would have already secured his father’s freedom.