Saudi jails producer Abdulaziz Almuzaini to 13 years over Netflix series

Hyderabad Desk

Riyadh: The authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have reportedly sentenced writer and producer Abdulaziz Almuzaini to 13 years in prison for promoting terrorism and homosexuality through his Netflix series and old tweets.

In a video posted on YouTube and X on June 26, Almuzaini addressed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud.

He revealed that in 2021, pressures began on him and his company, Myrkott Animation Studio, after they secured an exclusive contract with Netflix to broadcast his popular animated series Masameer.

Myrkott studio. Photo: Netflix

Almuzaini explained in a video that persistent threats came from the Director of Violations Control at the General Authority for Audiovisual Media, Saad Al-Suhaimi, who treated him with disrespectful and unprofessional behaviour.

Al-Suhaimi criticised Myrkott’s contract with Netflix and its refusal to contract with MBC, a Saudi network.

Almuzaini faces charges for insults, terrorism, homosexuality, and tweets from 2010-2014, claiming they are undeserved due to Al-Suhaimi’s abuse of authority.

Amid accusations, he was recently compelled to cease operations of his company and terminate the contracts of its employees.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution service demanded 25-year imprisonment and travel ban, which were reduced to 13 years each by the country’s Terrorism Court.

The case is currently being heard before the country’s Supreme Court.

Hours after publishing the video post, Almuzaini deleted it from YouTube and X. He then shared a post praising the head of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, Turki al-Sheikh.

Sanad Human Rights Organization stands in solidarity with Almuzaini and calls on the Saudi authorities to stop fighting creatives, cancel invalid rulings against him, and lift travel ban immediately.

Wave of arrests

Since Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, became the Saudi crown prince in June 2017, dozens of imams, women’s rights activists and members of the ruling royal family have been detained.

Among those arrested are prominent Islamic preachers Salman al-Awdah, Awad al-Qarni, Farhan al-Malki, Mostafa Hassan and Safar al-Hawali.

Similarly, this August, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Courts of Appeal sentenced a prominent former imam and preacher at the Grand Mosque in Makkah Sheikh Saleh Al Talib to ten years in prison.

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