72-year-old retired project manager Saad Ibrahim Almadi has reportedly been arrested in Saudi Arabia, according to his son Ibrahim.
Ibrahim said that his father was sentenced to 16 years in prison and was also subjected to torture.
Ibrahim said his father was arrested for “mild tweets” posted on Twitter over the past seven years, largely hitting out at Saudi government policies and alleged corruption. Ibrahim said that this father was not an activist and was simply exercising his 1st amendment right.
Ibrahim said that Saudi officials cautioned his family to stay quiet about the case and not to contact the U.S. government. Ibrahim alleged that his father was tortured after their family contacted U.S. authorities in Match.
Ibrahim also hit out at the State Department for mismanaging his father’s case declaring him a “wrongfully detained” American, which would have given him a higher level of priority.
“They manipulated me. They told me to stay quiet so they can get him out,” Ibrahim said, explaining his decision to go public this week. “I am not willing to take a gamble on the Department of State anymore.”
Almadi was arrested in November while visiting family in Saudi Arabia. Ibrahim told The Associated Press, confirming details that were first reported by The Washington Post. Almadi has dual citizenship of both the United States and Saudi Arabia.
State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel, addressed reporters in Washington, confirmed Almadi’s incarceration on Tuesday.
“We have consistently and intensively raised our concerns regarding the case at senior levels of the Saudi government, both through channels in Riyadh and Washington DC as well and we will continue to do so,” he said. “We have raised this with members of the Saudi government as recently as yesterday.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SCMP.COM
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