Saudi Arabia’s ‘middle finger to Biden’: Kingdom increases US citizen’s sentence by three YEARS to 19 after White House condemned punishment over Khashoggi tweets

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.’

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Inmates in Massachusetts could reduce their sentence by up to a year for donating organs or bone marrow

A new bill in Massachusetts, if passed, would allow the potential for inmates to have their sentences reduced if they donate organs or bone marrow to help provide “life-saving treatment” for black and Latino people.

Democrat state Representatives Carlos Gonzalez and Judith Garcia introduced HD.3822, which would allow for a reduction in sentences by no less than 60 days and no more than 365 days.

“The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program shall allow eligible incarcerated individuals to gain not less than 60 and not more than 365 day reduction in the length of their committed sentence in Department of Corrections facilities, or House of Correction facilities if they are serving a Department of Correction sentence in a House of Corrections facility, on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone marrow or organ(s),” the bill reads.

“In my view, there is no compelling reason to bar inmates from this,” Gonzalez said, according to AOL/The Miami Herald.

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‘ISIS Beatle’ vanishes from US prison records

Convicted terrorist Alexanda Kotey, a member of the infamous Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) terror group cell dubbed ‘The Beatles’ for its members’ British origins, has disappeared from the US Federal Bureau of Prisons database, Fox News reported on Thursday.

Kotey was serving a life sentence at the Canaan high-security prison in Pennsylvania, having been sentenced in April after pleading guilty to eight counts of hostage-taking and terrorism-related crimes resulting in death. 

The native Londoner nicknamed ‘Jihadi George’ was accused of participating with his fellow ‘ISIS Beatles’ in the “seizure, detention and hostage negotiations” of four Americans and 23 others between 2012 and 2015.

However, Kotey was no longer listed as an inmate at Canaan, with records showing he was “not in BOP custody” as of Friday. Perhaps more troublingly, given his crimes, the terrorist’s release date was listed as “unknown.” 

Confirming that Kotey was “not currently in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons,” spokesperson Randilee Giamusso offered “several” potential reasons for the discrepancy in a statement to Fox News. 

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Number Of Imprisoned Journalists Worldwide Hits New Record

The number of journalists imprisoned worldwide has hit a new record at 533, according to an annual report by press fredom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders.

The total number is up from 2021, when 488 journalists were imprisoned, according to the RSF’s Annual Press Freedom Review published last week.

More than a quarter of them were imprisoned during the year,” according to the Paris-based watchdog which has kept records on imprisoned reporters since 1995.

More than half of those jailed are in five countries: China (110), Myanmar (62), Iran (47) Vietnam (39) and Belarus (31) – with 32 of the 47 in Iran having been arrested since protests broke out in September over the death of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in police custody while breaching the country’s strict dress code.

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As Temperature Drops, Incarcerated People Brace for Dangerously Cold Conditions

“The cells don’t have any heat. So, they’re sleeping with their clothes on,” a woman named Regina told Truthout of her son’s experience in Hill Correctional Center in Illinois in early December. “They’re not heating the tiers. There’s no heat in the day room. There’s no heat outside the showers.… The water is cold. You can let it run for a little while and you may get a little warm. But it’s not enough.”

Regina has felt the cold in the prison firsthand. “It’s even cold in the visitor’s room,” she said. “I don’t have any hair right now, because I have cancer. So, I wear a head wrap or a hat, but I can’t wear it in there. Because you can’t have anything on your head.” She wrote three letters to the warden requesting a medical exemption, but never heard back. “So, I go in there with nothing on my head,” she said. “My head is freezing. But I want to see my son.”

As people across the country brace for upcoming cold weather, many of those set to suffer the most are incarcerated in prisons and jails. Each winter, people in old, drafty facilities shiver for months in their cells, struggling to function and fearing for their health. They have no control over cell temperature, and often little access to warm clothes or extra blankets. Inevitably, some outdated heating systems across the country will fail, leaving people in dangerously frigid temperatures.

“This speaks to a much larger issue of the infrastructure, in general, of our prisons,” Jennifer Vollen-Katz, executive director of the John Howard Association (JHA), an Illinois-based citizen correctional oversight organization, told Truthout. “In Illinois, we have many really old, decrepit facilities that are unsafe, and frankly, unfit for human habitation.”

Both JHA and the Chicago-based Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC) receive letters every winter from people incarcerated in dangerously cold prisons in Illinois. UPLC Executive Director Alan Mills told Truthout that complaints come most frequently from the state’s three maximum-security prisons, the newest of which was built in the 1920s. “They are long past their design life,” he explained. “These are 100-year-old buildings, which have been heavily and hard used, and not maintained.… They haven’t had an HVAC system that works, in any sort of modern sense, installed in any of these prisons. So, it’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.”

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Congress set to tackle crack, powder cocaine sentencing disparity before year’s end

Lawmakers are making a last-ditch push to pass legislation that seeks to reduce — but not entirely erase — sentencing disparities for crack and powder cocaine offenses before the year is finished.

Senate Democrats are expressing optimism about chances to pass legislation aimed at significantly reducing the gap in federal sentencing disparities for the offenses as part of a larger omnibus funding package leaders are hopeful will pass next week. 

“We’re making good progress on the EQUAL Act,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told The Hill on late Thursday, referring to the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law act, a bill the Democratic-led House passed last year that sought to erase the disparity.  

He also said lawmakers are “feeling quite good about” chances of using the omnibus, which is set to be unveiled in the coming days, as a vehicle. But the push could have a long road ahead next week amid resistance from Republicans.

Over the years, the nation has seen glaring racial disparities in how Americans convicted of crack and powder cocaine offenses are treated under the law.  

Currently, an individual can be sentenced under federal law to at least five years behind bars for possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine, and 10 years for possessing 5 kilograms. By contrast, individuals found to have possessed 28 grams of crack cocaine can be subjected to five-year sentences as a mandatory minimum under the same rulebook, and 10 years for 280 grams. 

“So, the quantity of powder cocaine that you need to trigger a mandatory minimum is 18 times higher than the amount of crack cocaine needed to trigger the same mandatory minimum,” Liz Komar, sentencing reform counsel for The Sentencing Project, told The Hill. 

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Cops “Protect” Town by Kidnapping and Caging 82yo Grandma Over Unpaid $70 Trash Bill

Over the years, the Free Thought Project has reported on many asinine reasons police have used to arrest entirely innocent people who have harmed no one. Frequently, long grass on one’s own property or a burnt-out license plate light can get people killed in the land of the free as officers fail to use their discretion and instead react with brute force and callousness toward their fellow humans.

Martha Menefield, an 82-year-old Black woman in Alabama — who’s never had a run-in with the law in her entire life —learned recently that police can and will arrest and kidnap you, even for the most ridiculous reasons. The two armed state agents who kidnapped Memefield used her unpaid $77 trash bill as their ridiculous reason to take her freedom last week.

“Don’t cry,” the officers told her as they kidnapped the elderly woman. “Don’t cry, Ms. Martha.”

Menefield told WIAT that she had no idea why officers pulled up at her house that day as she has never broken the law. When one of the two officers told her they were there to arrest her over her trash bill, Menefield laughed, thinking the officers were joking.

They were not joking.

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Hundreds of women suing state over alleged sex abuse in prisons

Hundreds of women are suing the state of New York for its alleged role in prison sex abuse under the newly-passed Adult Survivors Act, which allows sexual abuse victims to file civil lawsuits after the statute of limitations has expired, according to the New York Times.

The law, passed in May, grants victims of abuse at state-run facilities including prisons a one-time opportunity file civil lawsuits after the statute of limitations has passed, according to the New York Times. At least 750 civil lawsuits will be filed on behalf of incarcerated women by Slater Slater and Schulman, a law firm that pursued sexual abuse lawsuits against Boy Scouts of American and the Catholic Church, and other law firms will likely follow.

The law firm reached potential victims through television ads and said the response was overwhelming.

“Once we recognized the overwhelming number of survivors, we decided to reach out in different ways — and the response has been pretty unbelievable,” Adam Slater, a partner at the firm, told the NYT.

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