Saudi human rights lawyer sentenced to 15 years prison

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a prominent human rights lawyer to 15 years imprisonment and barred him from traveling for another 15 years after that on charges related to his activism.

The court in the western coastal city of Jiddah found Waleed Abul-Khair guilty of "undermining the regime and officials," ''inciting public opinion" and "insulting the judiciary." The court on Sunday also fined him 200,000 riyals ($53,000).

The case is related to his work with the group Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. Calls for political change in the kingdom are illegal.

Abul-Khair, who was arrested in April, protested the verdict, refusing to sign the judgment on the basis of what he says is the court's "illegitimacy." Abul-Khair's comments were released through his Twitter account.

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