A Saudi court has sentenced a man to death for his posts on X, formerly Twitter, and his activity on YouTube, in a widening crackdown on dissent in the kingdom that has drawn international criticism.
The decision against Mohammed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi, which seen Wednesday by the Associated Press, comes against the backdrop of PhD student Salma al-Shehab and others facing decades in prison for their online comments. The sentences are part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's broader effort to stamp out dissent in the kingdom as he pursues massive construction projects and other diplomatic deals to raise his profile globally.
According to court documents, the charges against al-Ghamdi include "betraying his religion", "disrupting the security of society", "conspiracy against the government" and "challenging the kingdom and the crown prince".
Saudi officials did not say why they specifically targeted al-Ghamdi, a retired teacher who lives in the city of Mecca.
However, his brother, Saeed bin Nasser al-Ghamdi, is a known critic of the Saudi government and lives in the UK.
"This false decision is intended to hit me personally after failed attempts by investigators to return me to the country," his brother said.
Saudi Arabia has used arrests of family members in the past as a means to pressure those abroad to return home, say activists who have been targeted in the past.