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Saudi Arabia: Woman sentenced to over 30 years in prison for using Twitter

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Salma al-Shehab, a Saudi student at the University of Leeds, UK, was sentenced to 34 years in prison for having a Twitter account, following and distributing posts by dissidents and anti-Saudi activists when she returned home this summer. on holiday.

Initially, according to The Guardian, Salma was sentenced to three years in prison for the “crime” of using the website to “cause public disorder and destabilize civil and national security.” But on Monday, after a prosecutor’s request to consider other crimes, the court of second instance issued a new sentence: 34 years in prison, followed by a 34-year travel ban.

According to an English newspaper that had access to a translation of court records, the new allegations include an allegation that Shehab “helped those who seek to cause civil unrest and destabilize civil and national security by following his Twitter accounts” and sharing his tweets.

In a brief social media consultation for a 34-year-old Saudi mother of two, Shehab appears to have no activist profile, while on Instagram she reveals her more personal life, presenting herself as an oral hygienist and doctoral student. student. Twitter already has shares of Saudi dissidents living in exile asking for the release of political prisoners in the kingdom.

The Guardian on Twitter declined to comment on the case, clashing with journalist Stephanie Kirchgessner over the possible influence of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns more than 5% of the social network through Kingdom Holding.

The case comes just weeks after Joe Biden’s heavily criticized visit to Saudi Arabia, during which several activists confronted the President of the United States of America about various human rights violations by the regime of Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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22 children among 34 killed in Thailand kindergarten attack | Thailand

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At least 34 people, including 22 children, were killed this Thursday in an attack on a kindergarten in the Thai village of Uthai Sawan in Nongbua Lamphu province in the northeast of the country, which also injured more than a dozen people. Among the dead were two-year-old children and a teacher eight months pregnant.

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30 km advance in Kherson and “significant victory” in Donbass. How did the last victories of the Ukrainian counter-offensive turn out?

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Follow all the news of the war live on the Observer.

The announcement of Russian partial mobilization, the formalization of the annexation of four Ukrainian territories and the threat of the Poseidon nuclear submarine. All these events of recent days show a stronger reaction from Russia and escalation of tension wars in Ukraine. However, almost nothing has changed on the ground since the beginning of September, and Moscow has failed to break Kyiv’s winning streak. Ukrainian troops keep reaching important successes in the counter-offensive in the south of the country and near Lugansk in the east.

It is increasingly likely that Kherson, one of the first cities captured by Russia at the start of the invasion, will soon be back under Ukrainian control. Moscow should not responsiveness strike back soon as the measures recently announced by Vladimir Putin are not yet in effect take a few months until they bring practical effect. For example, with regard to partial mobilization. Soldiers must be trained before they go to the front lines.

Ukraine wants to take advantage of this fact. To that end, he is following the same communications strategy as last month to catch Russian forces in error. The representative of the Ukrainian military from the southern region, Vladislav Nazaro, called for “silence”. “Don’t even report positive news about the actions of our units. Endurance and strength are the secret of our constant movement to victory”, these person in charge, quoted by El País. Paradoxically, Russia revealed the situation on the ground, namely the withdrawal of its troops and the advance of Ukrainian forces.

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The war in Ukraine has entered a dangerous phase of a terrible scenario at the nuclear level – Obozrevatel

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European Union (EU) diplomacy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday that the war in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion is now “in a dangerous phase” due to a “terrible scenario” regarding Russian nuclear weapons.

The war continues, and the news from the battlefields is favorable for Ukraine. Ukraine is back on the offensive [mas] The war has entered a new phase, a phase that is undoubtedly dangerous because we are facing a frightening scenario that we must not turn a blind eye to,” said the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Speaking in a debate at the plenary session of the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg, Josep Borrell spoke of “a scenario of conventional war involving a nuclear power, a nuclear power that is now retreating from the usual scenario and that threatens to use nuclear weapons.”

“This is certainly a worrying scenario in which we must show that our support for Ukraine is unwavering,” he stressed.

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Despite emphasizing that “Ukraine is advancing on three fronts, in the Donbass, […]in the southern center of Zaporizhia, advancing on Mariupol, and finally on Kherson,” the head of public diplomacy pointed out that Russia “still has a superiority in numbers, superiority in firepower,” so caution is needed.

Earlier today, EU member states reached a political agreement on new sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, the eighth package, due to come into effect on Thursday as a “strong response” to the annexation of Ukrainian territories.

Proposed by the European Commission last Wednesday, amid Russia’s “new escalation” with “fraudulent referendums”, partial mobilizations and the threat of nuclear weapons, a new package of EU sanctions includes a ceiling on Russian oil prices, new trade restrictions, depriving Russia of about 7 billion euros revenues, a ban on the export of more products to deprive the Kremlin of key technologies for the Russian military machine, and an update to the list of individuals and entities subject to restrictive measures. .

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In particular, the EU added pro-Russian officials in the Russian-occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to the list of individual sanctions.

In recent days, there have even been Russian attacks on the area of ​​the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, the largest in Europe, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists.

“The position of the Russian army is very bad. Including because the Russian soldiers do not know what the war is for, and those 300,000 who will be taken from their native places to the front will understand even less, so the war can be won on the battlefield, but it must be won. in the realm of ideas. In addition to the war itself, there is another war – the war for the supremacy of values, ”said Josep Borrell.

And at a time when there are fears of interruptions in Russian gas supplies to the EU, the head of EU diplomacy stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “waits for cold weather, interruptions in gas supplies, high prices and low temperatures in order to undermine the European will and will continue to support Ukraine”.

“Here we need to ask the Europeans to understand what is at stake, because our support for Ukraine is not just a matter of generosity, our support for Ukraine must be unwavering, because the security of Ukraine is inextricably linked to our own security,” he added.

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