World Bulletin / News Desk
A Saudi court has sentenced 11 men to up to 15 years in prison for membership of a "terror" cell that planned to attack U.S. forces in Kuwait and state-owned Saudi oil giant Aramco, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.
The 11 were among thousands of people rounded up between 2003 and 2006.
Alriyadh newspaper said the sentences, handed down by the Specialised Criminal Court in the Saudi capital on Tuesday, ranged from two to 15 years in jail.
"The verdicts ... include 15 years in prison for the first defendant for joining a terror cell which targeted American forces in Kuwait and important Aramco sites," the newspaper said.
A spokesman from the Justice Ministry could not be reached for comment.
Last year, the Interior Ministry said 5,696 people had been detained by the authorities in "militant" cases, of whom 5,080 had already appeared in court.
Human rights groups say peaceful political activists have also been imprisoned in the kingdom's crackdown.
Only the government's Human Rights Commission (HRC), which reports to Saudi King Abdullah, and selected Saudi media can attend the trials, HRC and independent human rights campaigners said, demanding they be opened to a wider audience.
"The trials have to be open and transparent. In the absence of transparency I am not aware if there was due process," the president of the kingdom's Human Rights First Society, Ibrahim al-Mugaiteeb, told Reuters.
Last year a Saudi court gave 16 men long prison sentences for "funding terrorism" and conspiring with al Qaeda to seize power. Rights campaigners say the men had been peaceful activists for a constitutional monarchy and other reforms.
'Aleppo is burning and it is crucial that we focus on this top priority issue,' British envoy says
UN panel says 'the use of solitary confinement in Israeli jails has doubled between 2012 and 2014,' with the number of people held in isolation jumping from 390 to 755 over the period
Ahrar al-Sham’s deputy leader says group has blocked Moscow’s aims in Syria
Israeli customs officials say chemicals could be used to make long-range rockets
Both Kerry and Lavrov have "agreed on new measures to be taken by Moscow and Washington", to stop the onslaught in Syria
Iran's Minister for Industry, Mining and Trade has said that as part of expanding economic relations, entry into the auto industry will be a win win for both countries
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has met both government and rebel delegations in a bid to find a swift resolution to the dispute over the rebels' seizure of the Al-Amaliqa base despite an April 11 ceasefire
Raqqa in Syria has been targeted in another strike however there is no word on was behind the attacks
Criticism follows raids on labor union building in Cairo and arrest of journalists
Conversation follows US, Russia agreement on new short-term truce for parts in Syria
US Secretary of State says the Syrian crisis is 'deeply disturbing to everybody in the world'
Park Geun-Hye in Tehran as the first South Korean president to visit Iran since the two countries established diplomatic relations
Two leaders discuss latest regional developments, express hope for stepped-up bilateral ties
Response to ISIL rocket attacks on Kilis, southern Turkey, targets terror group's facilities in northern Aleppo
'We're getting closer to a place of understanding, but we have some work to do, and that's why we're here,' US Secretary of State says
Interior ministry denies police stormed union building but confirms arrest of two opposition-linked journalists.