US lawsuit indicates that social network contributed to the detention and torture of critics of the Saudi government

OX (ex-Twitter) was accused of helping Saudi Arabia to commit human rights violations against users of the platform in the country. According to a report by the Guardianpublished this Monday (September 4, 2023), the social network is facing a civil lawsuit in the United States over the issue.

The lawsuit, filed in May this year, indicates that the social network contributed to the detention and torture of critics of the Saudi government. The case was filed by Areej al-Sadhan, sister of Abdulrahman, a Saudi humanitarian activist who disappeared and was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.

According to Guardian, the lawsuit is related to episodes from 2014 and 2015, when Twitter was then led by Jack Dorsey. The suspicion is that, at the time, 3 Saudi agents impersonated employees of the social network.

The case resulted in Abdulrahman’s arrest and exposed the identity of anonymous Twitter users —“some of whom were detained and tortured as part of the country’s government crackdown”says the report.

New charges were added to the lawsuit by Areej al-Sadhan’s lawyers last week. According to the lawsuit, Dorsey would have helped Saudi agents because of financial issues and to maintain ties with the country’s government.

The text also states that the social network had been seen as a critical platform for Saudi democratic movements during the Arab Spring. Hence, it became a source of concern for the Saudi Arabian government in 2013.

On Tuesday (29.Aug.2023), the international organization Human Rights Watch repudiated the condemnation of Muhammad al-Ghamdi to the death penalty determined by a Saudi court on July 10 of this year. He was tried for making X posts critical of the Saudi government.

Saudi authorities should overturn the verdict, which represents an escalation of the Saudi government’s crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful political dissent in the country.”said the international organization.


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