Shoura Member Sues Popular Cleric Over Retweet

Shoura Council member Issa Al-Gheith has filed a defamation suit against well-known Dawa activist Muhammad Al-Oraifi at the Riyadh District Court on Saturday.

Al-Gheith took legal action after Al-Oraifi retweeted a poem that Al-Gheith considered defamatory and insulting. Al-Gheith gave Al-Oraifi 24 hours to apologize for the retweet but the latter did not respond at which point he went to court and filed the lawsuit on the basis of Article 5.3 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law.

This is the first case of its kind brought before a court of law, according to court sources.

In addition to being a current member of the Shoura Council, al-Ghath is a former judge who supposedly knows how the legal system works. The fact that al-Ghaith is suing al-Arefi because the latter retweeted the allegedly defamatory poem could set a precedent. It would be also interesting to see how the presiding judge in this case will deal with the fact that al-Arefi only retweeted the poem and did not tweeted it himself.

This is not the first time that al-Ghaith has taken legal action over tweets. The Shoura member has previously said he is suing conservative writer Abdullah al-Dawood for allegedly offending him on Twitter.