ARCHIV - 26.04.2022, Bayern, Kempten: ILLUSTRATION - Das Logo der Nachrichten-Plattform Twitter ist auf dem Display eines Laptops zu sehen. (zu dpa «Wegen Twitter-Konto: Saudi-Arabien verurteilt Frau zu 34 Jahren Haft ») Foto: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a student to 34 years in prison for her tweets. Salma al-Chehab was found guilty of “providing aid to those who seek to disrupt public order and spread false and malicious information” through her tweets, according to a court document seen by AFP on Wednesday could.

The mother of two, who only has around 2,600 followers on Twitter, regularly posted messages campaigning for women’s rights in the conservative kingdom.

In the first instance, she was sentenced to six years in prison in June, three of which were suspended. The judgment of the Court of Appeal on August 9 was now much harsher: the 34-year prison sentence was followed by a ban on leaving the country for the same length of time.

The judgment can be appealed to the Supreme Court within 30 days.

The dentistry doctoral student at the University of Leeds in England was arrested in January 2021 while on holiday in Saudi Arabia. Al-Chehab never thought “that her Twitter activities could cause her problems,” a friend who asked to remain anonymous told AFP. “Your arrest surprised us”.

The human rights organization ALQST from London condemned “the longest prison sentence that Saudi Arabian authorities have ever imposed on a peaceful activist” against the background of “an already excessively strict repression”.