Saudi Arabia To Punish Online Satire With Prison Time

From the AFP:
RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia will punish online satire that “disrupts public order” with up to five years in prison, the public prosecutor said Tuesday, as the kingdom cracks down on dissent.

“Producing and distributing content that ridicules, mocks, provokes and disrupts public order, religious values and public morals through social media … will be considered a cybercrime punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of three million riyals ($800,000),” the public prosecution tweeted late Monday.

The kingdom’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has drawn harsh criticism from rights groups over the targeting of human rights activists and political dissidents across the spectrum since his appointment in June 2017….

Dozens of Saudi citizens have been convicted on charges linked to dissent under a previous sweeping law, particularly linked to posts on Twitter.

In September 2017, authorities issued a public call for citizens to report on the social media activities of their fellow citizens, under a broad definition of “terrorist” crimes….

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