Saudi Arabia releases three women's rights activists

Riyadh (dpa) - Saudi Arabian authorities on Thursday temporarily released three women detained 10 months ago during a crackdown on women's rights activists, sources close to their families and state media said.

Lojen not one of them
Lojen not one of them
The three Saudis were identified as Ruqqaya al-Muhareb, Aziz al-Yousef and Eman al-Nafajan.
They were released pending the next session of their trial, the sources told dpa on condition of anonymity.
A court in Riyadh handling their case had ordered the temporary release, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported, citing a court statement.
The three had presented requests for temporary release that the court found met "necessary regulations," SPA said without elaborating.
The released defendants will have to show up for their trial until final rulings are delivered in their case.
The date of the next trial session is not clear yet.
The three women, along with other rights activists, were arrested in a crackdown in May last year for what authorities called their contacts with "dubious" foreign agencies.
Most of the detained activists were campaigning for the right to drive - which was granted in June 2018 - and an end to the kingdom's male guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male relative for major decisions.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been hailed for championing social and economic reforms as part of his ambitious Vision 2030 plan to open the oil-rich monarchy up to entertainment and investments.
However, he is also blamed for the clampdown on dissidents and activists.
The Saudi strongman has also faced isolation from most Western nations since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October - which Riyadh insists was a "rogue operation."
It has put 11 defendants on trial for the crime, which sparked global condemnation.


Thursday, March 28th 2019

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