UPDATED 1:11 PM PT – Monday, September 13, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has expressed deep concerns about the alleged torture of a Saudi humanitarian aid worker imprisoned by the country. In a tweet on Sunday, the lawmaker said Abdulrahman al-Sadan’s sentencing was an assault on free expression by the government.
“Deeply concerned with allegations of torture in detention of aid worker Abdulrahman al-Sadha,” she stated on Twitter. “His sentencing continues Saudi Arabia’s assault on freedom of expression.”
In May, al-Sadan was sentenced to 20 years behind bars under the kingdom’s anti-terrorism law because he ran a satire Twitter account to mock the country’s government. He was also sentenced to a 20 year travel ban, which would go into effect following his release.
We are very worried about my brother’s safety & health, deteriorating under torture in Saudi detention, while we remain completely deprived of any contact with him. https://t.co/bFBQtMcbBz
— Areej Al Sadhan أريج السدحان (@AreejASadhan) September 12, 2021
According to his sister, a dual U.S. Saudi citizen who has been working closely with Pelosi, al-Sadan has not been allowed to speak to his family. However, they discovered he has undergone abuse such as beatings, sleep deprivation and sexual assault.
Pelosi went on to say Congress would monitor the Saudi’s appeals hearing on Monday.