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Jail term for Saudi writer confirmed: Rights group

Majid is also banned from leaving country after release and fined $26,650
Religious police in Saudi Arabia (AFP/file photo)

A seven-year jail term handed down to a Saudi writer over his work and contacts with international media was confirmed on appeal, the Gulf Center for Human Rights reported on Sunday.

Nadhir al-Majid, 40, "was told by the penal authorities three weeks ago" that an appeals court in Riyadh had confirmed the sentence passed in January, the GCHR said.

It said Majid was also banned from leaving the country after his release and fined $26,650.

"He faced many charges including failing to obey the ruler, participating in demonstrations, writing articles supporting protests (dating back to 2007), in addition to having contact with correspondents of foreign news agencies," the GCHR said.

In 2011, the New York-based Human Rights Watch placed Majid on a list of more than 160 people arrested in the mainly Sunni Gulf kingdom, mostly in the east among the Shia minority.

"GCHR believes that the arrest, detention, trial and seven-year prison sentence of Nadhir al-Majid is solely related to his work in defence of human rights and in particular his defence of freedom of assembly in Saudi Arabia," the GCHR said.