UPDATED: Zaid Hamid sentenced to 8-year in prison, lashes in Saudi Arabia — social media reacts
According to reports, Mr. Hamid will also be given lashes. Some reports say that the Pakistani analyst will get 1,000 lashes alongside eight years of imprisonment.
Mr. Hamid was detained by Saudi authorities during his private visit to the Kingdom. Reports suggest that he made speeches against the Saudi government at a function two weeks ago and was arrested for lashing out against Arabs.
Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah, responding to a question today, denied knowledge of the sentence given to Zaid Hamid and said it had not been confirmed by Saudi authorities.
The spokesperson further said that with the efforts of the foreign ministry, Hamid’s wife has been able to talk to him.
On June 26, the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan had confirmed the arrest of defense analyst Zaid Hamid in Saudi Arabia. In a statement emailed to Arynews.tv, the FO had said the Pakistani Embassy in Riyadh was trying to get consular access to him.
The FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah during a press briefing confirmed the arrest of Mr. Hamid, saying, “Our Embassy in Riyadh has informed us that Mr. Zaid Hamid was arrested about two weeks ago. Since then, the Embassy has been working with the local authorities to get consular access.”
He told that due to the diplomatic efforts, Hamid’s wife was able to talk to him.
Who is Zaid Hamid?
Syed Zaid Zaman Hamid is a political commentator and defence analyst in Pakistan. He appears on different TV talk shows and regularly subjects Indian spy Agency Research Analysis Wing (RAW) for fomenting violence and sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.
A number of Pakistani journalists, civil society members, writers and Islamic scholars have criticized Hamid and described his views on politics and security as “conspiracy theories”.
Twitter reacts to Zaid Hamid’s sentence
It’s not about Zaid Hamid. It is about the values of freedom of speech and of justice for which I stand up. https://t.co/UrwxnBi9bk
— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) July 1, 2015
Actually I quite agreed with what Zaid Hamid was saying vis-à-vis Saudi role in Yemen conflict. Poor sod, now devoured by Bedouin despotism.
— Nadeem F. Paracha (@NadeemfParacha) July 1, 2015
Any news story detailing what exactly Zaid Hamid did? And it is sad that no strings have been pulled by his handlers to release him. — karachikhatmal (@karachikhatmal) July 1, 2015
Zaid Hamid would call names to all and sundry in Pakistan. Nothing happens. He opens mouth in KSA and pays the price! Long live democracy!
— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) July 1, 2015
Disagree with Zaid Hamid views(sme r utterly stupid) bt his arrest in KSA for merely a view is unjustified govt must ensure his release — Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) June 28, 2015
Any news about what are the charges on zaid hamid? @JibranAzizMahar
— Naveed (@iNaveedmehmood) July 1, 2015