RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi court has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for protesting and disseminating photos of demonstrations online, according to official state media.
The Saudi Press Agency reported late on Monday that the man was found guilty of "disobeying the ruler" for taking part in anti-government protests and chanting slogans allegedly harmful to security.
The court ruled that the Saudi man violated an article of the law related to Internet crimes, "inciting chaos" by disseminating photos of the demonstrations online and to satellite TV stations.
The pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, which is owned by a Saudi prince, reported that the man was filming protests in the eastern province of Qatif where minority Muslim Shiites have clashed with police in demonstrations demanding fair treatment and greater reforms from the kingdom's Sunni rulers. Protesters in the east have also rallied against Saudi Arabia for sending troops to neighboring Bahrain in 2011 to help quell Shiite protests there.
The newspaper said the defendant described Saudi rulers as "a gang" and as "American agents."
The court also ordered that following 10 years in prison, he be banned from traveling abroad for another 10 years
State media did not identify the man by name or provide details about when and where he took part in protests. He has the right to appeal.