A Saudi court has sentenced prominent opposition economist Essam Al-Zamil to 15 years in prison after he refused to publish an interview with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a human rights group.
“Prisoners of Conscience” on Twitter, “The economist Essam Al-Zamil was unjustly sentenced to 15 years in prison after three years of arbitrary detention.
“Essam Al-Zamil deserved a ministerial position in the Ministry of Economy, but the repressive authorities have imprisoned him since 2017,” the account added.
The account continued, “Now they have completed the violation of human rights by issuing a 15-year prison sentence against him.”
The account confirmed its complete rejection of the judgment of the economist Essam Al-Zamil, calling for his immediate release.
The “Prisoners of Conscience” account is concerned with following up the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, especially for political opponents.
Forbes magazine chose Essam Al-Zamil as “one of the most influential economic figures in the Kingdom and the founder of a pioneering company in the field of information technology.”
Al-Zamil won an award from King Salman for being “the youngest and most successful entrepreneur in the kingdom.”
Saudi authorities accused Essam Al-Zamil, who was in pretrial detention for 3 years prior to the sentencing, of joining the Muslim Brotherhood.
It also accused him of instigating local protests in the Kingdom, and communicating with the neighboring State of Qatar, which Saudi Arabia and its three regional allies embarked on in the siege in 2017.
The Saudi authorities have not issued any official announcement regarding the ruling on Essam Al-Zamil, which is the practice of judging political detainees in the Kingdom.
A campaign of arrests
The Saudi order launched a massive campaign to arrest prominent preachers and activists in the kingdom in September 2017.
The campaign of arrests included preachers, the most prominent of whom were Salman Al-Awda, Awad Al-Qarni, and Ali Al-Omari.
The authorities charged them with charges ranging from joining a terrorist group (the Muslim Brotherhood), supporting terrorism and plotting against the state.
Human rights organizations and international figures have called for the release of political detainees in the Kingdom.
Observers of the Saudi affairs said that the campaign of arrests against the preachers came to ensure that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision would proceed without opposition.