The Specialised Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia has begun hearing a lawsuit against a Saudi citizen accused of drawing anti-government cartoons, according to reports.
Arabic publication Okaz reported on Wednesday that the Public Prosecution had brought the charges against the unnamed individual for drawing 100 caricatures “in solidarity with an anti-Saudi state and its government” in exchange for money.
The defendant is accused of sympathy for a hostile state and violating the Saudi government’s boycott policy, an apparent reference to the Saudi-led boycott against Qatar.
Other charges include liaising with people hostile to the kingdom and insulting the Saudi State’s mandate in solidarity with the “hostile state” against the kingdom and its government, as well as accepting money for producing material that would damage public order.
The defendant will be given the chance to respond at the next hearing.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar last year after accusing the country of supporting terror groups.
Last month, the kingdom’s Public Prosecution warned that sending or retweeting satire mocking the kingdom could land social media users with a five-year prison sentence.