Sentence of Saudi Human Rights Lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair

Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 15, 2015

We are troubled by reports that Saudi Arabia's Court of Appeals, on recommendation from the Specialized Criminal Court, sentenced human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair to a full 15 years in prison for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association.

The United States strongly opposes any law that penalizes the peaceful exercise of these fundamental freedoms, and urges all countries to defend these principles in practice.

Mr. Abu al-Khair’s case is discussed in our most recent Human Rights Report on Saudi Arabia.