Group: Saudi activist imprisoned for rights letter

AP , Tuesday 29 Oct 2013

Saudi Arabian court sentences notable lawyer to three months in prison for signing statement reforms in the kingdom

A rights group says a court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a prominent lawyer to three months in prison for signing a statement calling for reforms in the kingdom.

The statement signed by human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair and around 50 others condemned long prison sentences given to reformists, called for the right to peaceful assembly and for an end to police shootings of Shiite Muslim protesters in eastern Saudi Arabia. It was signed in 2011 during the height of the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled autocratic governments across the region.

The London-based Institute for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia says Abu al-Khair plans to appeal Tuesday's conviction.

Abu Al-Khair faces another trial on charges of challenging Saudi Arabia's monarchy and ruling institutions.

Saudi authorities had no immediate comment.

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