20 March 2014, 16:19

13 jailed in Saudi Arabia for backing 'terrorist organizations'

13 jailed in Saudi Arabia for backing 'terrorist organizations'

Saudi Arabia has handed down jail sentences to 13 people for backing "terrorist organizations" and recruiting people into militant groups, the kingdom's national news agency reported.

The jail sentences range from three to 14 years. Nine of those sentenced are Saudi nationals, while the remainder hold Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian citizenship.

Saudi Arabia has handed down thousands of prison sentences for security offences in recent years in response to al-Qaeda waging a campaign of attacks in the country that killed hundreds of people.

The conservative monarchy issued a royal decree earlier this month labelling the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah, the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) "terrorist organizations".

The decree also ordered all Saudi Arabians fighting in Syria and other foreign conflicts to return home within two weeks or face jail sentences.

The government said it has also stepped up efforts to prevent the recruitment of young people into militant groups.

US President Barack Obama is due in Saudi Arabia later this month.

Voice of Russia, dpa

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