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Saudis threaten prison time for online satire 'disturbing public order'

By SARAH ALGETHAMI | Bloomberg | Published: September 4, 2018

Saudi Arabia warned it will punish those who produce or share satirical online content that disturbs public order, the latest sign that there will be no letup in its crackdown on dissent.

The Public Prosecution tweeted Monday that committing an "informational crime" on social media that "affects public order, religious values and public morals" could result in a five-year prison term and a fine of $800,000.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been leading the clampdown on critics at the same time that he's pushing an economic overhaul and loosening some social restrictions.

In the past year, the government has arrested dozens of clerics, intellectuals, businessmen and activists from across the political spectrum, tightening a once relatively permissive space for public discourse in the authoritarian kingdom.

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