Man Sentenced to Death for His Tweets in Saudi Arabia as Elon Musk Goes Silent
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Man Sentenced to Death for His Tweets in Saudi Arabia as Elon Musk Goes Silent

Saudi Arabian national 54-year-old retired Saudi teacher Muhammad al-Ghamdi was sentenced to death this year by a Saudi court on a series of charges related to his online political activism.

Muhammad al-Ghamdi was sentenced to death for a series of posts on Musk’s social media platform criticizing his government, calling into question the limits of Musk’s commitment to uninhibited free speech when it comes to his own financial interests.

Charges, according to documents obtained by HRW, include describing the King or the Crown Prince in a way that undermines religion or justice, supporting a terrorist ideology, communicating with a terrorist entity, and for violating Saudi law by publishing false news with the intention of executing a terrorist crime.

Al-Ghamdi’s trial judgment claims he used his accounts on the Musk-owned platform X, formerly Twitter, as well as the Google-owned YouTube to commit his alleged crimes.

After purchasing the social media platform, Musk notably allowed several right-leaning journalists unfettered access to company documents and files in an effort to prove the previous regime had worked closely with the U.S. government to restrict the content shared by its users

But his reluctance to comment stands out given a pledge Musk made this month that the platform cover the legal costs of anyone who gets in trouble with their boss for their activity on the social media platform.

“No limit,” he wrote.

Some online participants have alleged his reluctance to wade into al-Ghamdi’s case could stem from his close and long-standing financial connections to the Saudi royal family.