Tags: zaid hamid | sentenced | prison | lashes | saudi arabia

Zaid Hamid, Pakistani Commentator, Sentenced to Prison, Lashing

By    |   Thursday, 02 Jul 2015 06:34 AM

Zaid Hamid, a Pakistani commentator and analyst, has been sentenced to eight years in prison and 1,000 lashes in Saudi Arabia for allegedly making comments against the country's government.

Hamid was arrested in June during a private visit to Saudi Arabia and declared "an enemy of the Kingdom" after allegedly making negative comments about the Saudi government, The News reported. Hamid is scheduled to receive 50 lashes a week over 20 weeks.

The News stated the Hamid reportedly became a target of the Saudi government after a citizen there complained about comments he made about Saudi's actions in Yemen. Hamid was accused of saying that Saudi rulers were providing financial support to al Qaida and the Islamic State in the region, as well.

Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of other Arab countries, mostly Sunni-led, in bombing positions in Yemen in March after Houthi militia rebels forced out sitting President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, The Washington Post reported.

Some characterized Saudi Arabia's involvement as upping the ante in a proxy war with Iran, The Post noted. That country, which is dominated the Shiites, is backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah confirmed Hamid's arrest during a news conference in Islamabad on June 26, saying that the embassy was trying to get consular access by working with local authorities there.

"Our embassy in Riyadh has informed us that Mr. Zaid Hamid was arrested about two weeks ago," Khalilullah said in his news conference, according to Daily Pakistan. "Due to the efforts of the embassy, his wife was able to talk to him. Again, due to the efforts of the embassy, his wife will be able to meet with him on June 30."

Daily Pakistan wrote that a former aide who left Hamid's organization charged in 2013 that the commentator was being paid by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency to conduct psychological operations against the Pakistani security establishment.

The News wrote that critics of Hamid's Pakistani television show have also accused the host of spewing conspiracy theories and promoting hate speech.

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Zaid Hamid, a Pakistani commentator and analyst, has been sentenced to eight years in prison and 1,000 lashes in Saudi Arabia for allegedly making comments against the country's government.
zaid hamid, sentenced, prison, lashes, saudi arabia
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Thursday, 02 Jul 2015 06:34 AM
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