According to court documents released on Thursday, a Saudi court sentenced a doctorate student to 34 years in prison for disseminating "rumors" and retweeting opponents. This judgment has garnered increasing international criticism.
Salma al-Shehab, a mother of two and a researcher at Leeds University in Britain, was given a sentence that activists and attorneys believe is terrible even by Saudi standards of justice.
The verdict, which the monarchy has not yet acknowledged, was handed down as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman cracked down on opposition while also granting women the right to drive and other new freedoms in the ultraconservative Islamic country.
Al-Shehab was seized on Jan. 15, 2021, while on a family vacation, just days before she was scheduled to fly back to the UK, according to the Freedom Initiative, a human rights organization based in Washington.
The legal records obtained by The Associated Press reveal that before her case was even referred to court, Al-Shehab told judges she had spent more than 285 days in solitary confinement.