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Saudi Arabia jails human rights activist for 15 years

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Walid abu al-KhairA Jeddah court sentenced prominent Saudi rights lawyer Walid abu al-Khair to 15 years in prison on Sunday on charges that included seeking to undermine the state and insulting the judiciary, the state news agency reported.

Abu al-Khair had been on trial on sedition charges that included breaking allegiance to King Abdullah, showing disrespect for authorities, creating an unauthorized association and inciting public opinion.

The rights activist was also fined 200,000 Saudi riyals ($53,300), banned from travelling outside the kingdom for another 15 years and had all his websites closed down, the SPA said.

Apart from Sunday's conviction, he had been sentenced by a Jeddah court last October to three months in jail for signing a petition in 2011 against the imprisonment of a group of activists demanding political reforms.

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