Saudi sentences opposition activists to 15 years in jail
Two Saudi human rights activists have been sentenced to long jail terms after being found guilty of setting up an illegal association designed to rebel against the government.
Mohammed al Qahtani and Mohammed al Hamid, both part of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, were given a total of 15 years combined.
While local media called the case a "treason trial", international observers condemned the court's decision as a step backwards for freedom of speech in the kingdom.
Qahtani and Hamid had called for hunger strikes to try and secure the release of political prisoners and public protests against the Saudi government.
Both argued that their activities were permissable under the Muslim Sharia law, calling the fight against the government a 'jihad' or holy war.
The pair will be appealing the sentence next month.
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