U.S. says it is raised considerations with Saudis over detention of U.S. citizen By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The flag of Saudi Arabia flies above the Saudi Arabia embassy close to the Watergate Advanced in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photograph

By Humeyra Pamuk and Daphne Psaledakis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. State Division confirmed {that a} Saudi-American citizen has been detained in Saudi Arabia, and mentioned that Washington has repeatedly raised its considerations over his jailing, most lately on Monday.

Saudi Arabia in early October handed a 16-year jail sentence to Saudi-American Saad Ibrahim Almadi, the Washington Submit reported late on Monday, over his tweets essential of the Saudi authorities.

Almadi was charged with “harboring a terrorist ideology, making an attempt to destabilise the Kingdom, in addition to supporting and funding terrorism,” the Submit reported. He was additionally handed a 16-year journey ban.

Talking at a press briefing, Division deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel confirmed Almadi’s detention and mentioned Washington first raised its considerations with Riyadh in December 2021, as quickly because it was made conscious of the arrest.

“We’ve constantly and intensively raised our considerations concerning the case at senior ranges of the Saudi authorities..and we are going to proceed to take action. We’ve raised this with members of the Saudi authorities as lately as yesterday,” Patel mentioned.

He didn’t say what Almadi was charged with however mentioned: “Exercising the liberty of expression ought to by no means be criminalised.”

The information come at a time when the Biden administration is trying to reevaluate its relationship with Saudi Arabia, after OPEC+ oil producers introduced oil manufacturing cuts over U.S. objections.

Saudi authorities supplied no data prematurely on Almadi’s sentencing listening to and didn’t reply to repeated requests by the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh for affirmation of a date, Patel mentioned. A request to attend the listening to was not answered till after it had taken place, he mentioned.

The final consular entry that the U.S. embassy had with Almadi was in early August, and the one earlier than that was in March, Patel mentioned.

Washington had not beforehand disclosed Almadi’s detention.

There are regarded as dozens of Americans detained overseas by overseas governments and a few are held by high U.S. adversaries reminiscent of Russia, Iran and China. It’s unusual for a U.S. ally to detain Americans.

In latest months, the Biden administration has stepped up efforts to deliver house detainees, placing prisoner swaps with Russia and Venezuela to safe the liberty of half a dozen U.S. residents.

Washington has been conducting talks with Moscow to safe the discharge of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who’s jailed in Russia over drug fees, and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan.

A U.S. consular official spoke on Tuesday with Britney Griner and Paul Whelan, Patel mentioned, with out elaborating.

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