US Democrat calls out Saudi Arabia over alleged aid worker torture

US Democrat calls out Saudi over alleged aid worker torture

Sept 13, 2021:  The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, says she is “deeply concerned” about the alleged torture of a Saudi aid worker in Saudi Arabia.

According to an April 6 US State Department statement, aid worker Abdul Rahman al-Sadhan was detained by Saudi authorities in March 2018 and sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by a 20-year travel ban.

He was arrested at the Red Crescent Society’s office in Riyadh, where he worked. In a tweet Sunday, Nancy Pelosi, the Chamber’s top Democrat, said Congress would oversee the hearing of her appeal,

In a tweet on Sunday, Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking Democrat in the chamber, said US Congress would monitor his appeal hearing, which she said was on Monday, and “all human rights abuses by the regime”.

In addition to Pelosi, separately, Sadan’s sister said his health was deteriorating.
Observers say Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the country’s defacto ruler, has sought to quell divisions in recent years, while introducing social and economic reforms aimed at modernizing the Kingdom. 

In an April statement, the Geneva-based NGO Mina Rights Group accused Sadan of running two satirical Twitter accounts and “financing terrorism”, supporting or sympathizing with the Islamic State (ISIS) armed group, and He was tried on charges of preparation, archiving and sending messages that will “affect public order and religious values.”

The group also said Sadan’s family learned that he had been subjected to severe torture in custody, including “electric shocks, beatings that broke bones, floggings, hanging from legs and suspension under pressure.” He was given death and beheading threats, insults, verbal insults “

Saudi authorities have detained members of the royal family, intellectuals and Muslim clerics.

Following former US President Donald Trump’s close ties with Riyadh, which critics say has further strengthened MBS, Biden’s administration has said it is committed to “resetting” relations with the longtime ally.

This includes the announcement that the US will not support Saudi officials’ approval of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, and its “aggressive actions” and laid the blame for the murder of US based journalist Jamal Kashoggi MBS’s door.

Critics say the Biden administration has not made much progress in shifting its policy pertaining to the monarchy, with which it maintains close economic and security ties.

In April, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration was “concerned” about Sadhan’s sentencing. He tweeted that the use of human rights should never be a punishable offense.

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