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.
Local rights NGO accuses Egypt of blocking access to website run by German state broadcaster
Egypt recently ceded sovereignty over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
Despite its association with terrorism, Washington sees PYD as viable ally against ISIL in Syria
Move follows accusations that Saudi authorities were hindering entry of Hajj pilgrims from Qatar
Regime forces were killed in Jobar district of Damascus
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Tehran should continue with 2015 deal despite fresh US sanctions
An official Saudi source renews accusations against Tehran of 'spreading terrorism and extremism'
Four Arab states severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism
After the liberation of Mosul and loss of territory in Syria's Raqqa, ISIL terrorist group has become more active in the unrest in southern Philippines, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Nigeria’s Borno State.
Israeli media report reopening of Cairo embassy could be imminent after 8-month closure
Nearly 4.1 million Jordanians are eligible to vote in the election
Around 4,000 people near Hadalat crossing reportedly living only on flour, water
But Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano suggested there were more prospects now for the truth to be revealed.
Case number rapidly approaching ICRC projection of 600,000 infections by end-2017
Around 800 pilgrims are set to cross the terminal on Monday
Medhat Shousha quits in wake of deadly train accident