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.
Family is one of many who hope land they say was stolen by industrialists will be returned under Bangsamoro peace agreement
The prisoners are among hundreds rounded up during mass demonstrations by reformists protesting against the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in presidential elections in 2009
Kenyatta will hold talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and senior government officials on enhancing ties
State Department spokeswoman said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department would look into the matter to determine if there were any violations of sanctions imposed on Iran.
Al-Ahmad said that he briefed the top Egyptian diplomat about proposals made during recent trilateral meetings between the Palestinians, Israelis and Americans with the aim of reviving peace negotiations
The arrival of aid convoys into the coastal enclave has been recently hindered after Egyptian authorities tightened restrictions on the border with Gaza
Most of the delegates representing the SPLM-N have already arrived in the Ethiopian capital for the talks, scheduled to kick off Tuesday
The accident focused attention on the risks sherpas take and on overcrowding on Everest, where the number of fatal accidents has risen in recent decades, although it dropped last year.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry noted that its police were unable to operate in Slaviansk since pro-Moscow gunmen took over the town earlier this month
Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission said initial results based on almost 50 percent of the vote from the 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent
The governor has accused the government of using Boko Haram pretext to commit genocide against the people of the north
Search for the missing 84 girls continues in the Sambisa forest
The bomb attack left five security guards dead as militants managed to take dozens of students and professors hostage after raiding the premises
Militants have killed 14 Algerian soldiers in an ambush during a patrol in mountains east of the capital Algiers
Egyptian-born cleric whose sermons have often admonished the authorities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said all views expressed in his preaching were his own and not those of Qatar.
Pictures posted on SANA's website showed Assad, dressed in a beige blazer, waving and examining antiquities as he toured the area with church officials