RIYADH Aug 19 A Saudi Arabian court on Monday
sentenced one man to death and 13 others to prison terms of up
to 30 years for their part in a series of militant attacks
against government and foreign targets last decade, state media
The convicted men were part of a group of 50 being tried as
a single militant cell and accused of murder and kidnapping, as
well as bombing cars, government buildings and foreign
residential compounds and plotting to assassinate government
officials and attack embassies.
Prison terms for those convicted ranged from four years to
30 years. Sentencing of two others from the 50 was delayed to
allow the court to hear more evidence, Saudi Press Agency
reported late on Monday. The remaining 34 were acquitted.
Saudi Arabia has detained thousands of its citizens and
sentenced hundreds of them after a campaign of bombings and
killings from 2003-06 by an al Qaeda group which killed
Riyadh's concerns about domestic militants have grown as the
wars in Syria and Iraq have led to what officials describe as a
surge in radicalisation among their citizens, and have led some
young Saudis to travel overseas to fight.
In February. King Abdullah issued a royal decree imposing
prison terms on any Saudi who travels abroad to fight, or who
encourages or helps others to do so.
The same decree also demanded jail for those who offer
material or moral support for extremist groups, which the
government later named as including al Qaeda, Islamic State,
Nusra Front, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Yemen's
Rights activists in Saudi Arabia have complained that the
government has also used its security crackdown to target
peaceful dissidents, something the authorities deny.
Anger at long periods of detention without trial,
allegations of torture and other abuses have led to some
protests over the past two years in Riyadh and Bureidah by
family members of detainees.
The government denied the abuses and says it does not
(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Larry King)