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AFP
April 6, 2019

US citizens among eight held in Saudi crackdown

World

AFP
April 6, 2019

DUBAI Saudi Arabia has arrested at least eight writers and bloggers, including two US citizens, in an apparent crackdown on supporters of detained women activists whose trial has drawn global censure, campaigners said on Friday.

News of the arrests came the morning after US lawmakers voted to end military support for a Saudi-led war in neighbouring Yemen, which has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

It also marks the first major crackdown since the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October, which sparked unprecedented international scrutiny of the kingdom’s human rights record.

Campaigners identified the US-Saudi dual nationals as writer and doctor Bader al-Ibrahim and Salah al-Haidar, the son of Aziza al-Yousef -- a high-profile activist who was temporarily released last week but remains on trial along with other women campaigners.

The latest round up started on Thursday, a day after the 11 women -- some of whom accused interrogators of torture and s....l abuse in detention -- returned to court to face charges that include contact with foreign media, diplomats and human rights groups.

But one of them, university lecturer Anas al-Mazrou, was detained last month after he expressed solidarity with the detained women during a panel discussion at the Riyadh book fair, multiple activists said.

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