The son of a US citizen jailed in Saudi Arabia has slammed the Biden administration’s attempts to free his father after his prison sentence was lengthened by an extra three years.
Saad Almadi has seen his time behind bars extended from 16 years to 19 years after he was imprisoned for a series of tweets criticizing the Saudi government.
The political prisoner’s son Ibrahim slammed the handling of his father’s case after the US State Department told him his father would spend even longer in prison.
He told The Post: ‘It’s not a slap in the face, it’s a middle finger.
‘When the US asked for an appeal, they said: “Here you go, 19 years!”
Ibrahim noted that his father has lost ‘more than 80 pounds’ behind bars, after an arrest which was triggered when he targeted the Saudi regime in a series of tweets.
The social media posts that led to his arrest included condemnations over Saudi government’s inability to protect its borders from rockets fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen, a group allied with Iran.
He also posted support for naming a street after murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post reporter whose death was allegedly orchestrated by the Saudi government.
Almadi, a 72-year-old retired project manager who was living in Florida, was arrested in November 2021 while visiting family in Saudi Arabia after he published the tweets.
The White House has made several remarks hitting out at Almadi’s treatment, however President Biden has not directly commented on it and has been accused of taking a soft stance with the Saudi regime.
Ibrahim pointed to the recent release of WNBA star Brittney Griner as he criticized the Biden administration’s failed efforts to free his father.
He particularly hit out at the State Department’s refusal to officially label his father as being ‘wrongfully detained’, a move that would increase pressure on the Saudi government to release him from prison.
‘The only way for my father to get out is through ‘wrongful detention’, he said. ‘That’s how Brittney Griner got out …. that’s what works with dictators.’