The Saudi Specialised Criminal Court in Terrorism Cases sentenced academic Abdullah Basfar to 12 years in prison for accepting to lead the prayers in the courtyard of the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Turkey, eight years ago.
Abdullah Basfar is a famous Quran reciter, and until 2020, he was an associate professor in the Department of Sharia and Islamic Studies at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.
The sentence against Abdullah Basfar comes in line with several harsh sentences being issued by the Saudi judiciary against dozens of detained advocates and activists.
While Saudi Arabia imposes a complete blackout on the news of the detainees, leaked news confirm that they are being tortured and held in very poor detention conditions.
It is worth mentioning that a United Nations special rapporteur has recently accused Saudi Arabia of committing ongoing violations of human rights, including arbitrary detention and torture, under the pretext of combatting terrorism.