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Saudi Arabia sentences Hamas envoy to 15 years in prison

Saudi court sentences 69 Palestinians and Jordanians to up to 22 years in prison

Saudi Arabia yesterday sentenced Hamas representative to Riyadh Mohammed Al-Khodari to 15 years in prison, sources reported.

Al-Khodari's son, Hani, was sentenced to three years in prison, according to the family. Some 22 other Palestinians were handed prison terms ranging from five to 25 years.

The Palestinians, who lived in Saudi Arabia, were charged with "supporting the Palestinian resistance and Hamas."

Sources said that the prisoners, who had been scattered among several prisons across the kingdom, were gathered in Riyadh for sentencing.

Member of Hamas' Political Bureau in Gaza Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that the rulings against the detainees were "unexpected".

"The rulings are in compliance with the Zionist orders… Is giving Saudi donations to those who deserve them in Palestine a crime against Saudi Arabia?"

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The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) condemned the rulings. "Those sentences were charged with supporting the Palestinian people, as part of a case against 69 Jordanian and Palestinian detainees, in an unfair and politicized trial that lacked the minimum standards of a fair trial," it said.

It stressed that the rulings issued by the Saudi judiciary "support the strict siege on the Palestinian people and aim at ending their cause."

AOHR UK also pointed out that "their trial lacks any legal basis, especially since all detainees were legal residents in Saudi Arabia with valid residence permits, and none of them committed any kind of violation or breached the Saudi law."

Al-Khodari, 82, and his Hani have been detained in Saudi since early 2019. He suffers from prostate cancer and needs medical care which has not been provided to him in prison.

In April, security forces raided his house and interrogated his 70-year-old wife, Wejdan, forcing her to sign an undertaking that prevents her from talking about her husband's condition to the media and confiscating her phone.

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