US citizens among 7 arrested in new Saudi crackdown: activists

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DUBAI: At least seven writers and bloggers, including two US citizens, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia, activists on said Friday.

London-based human rights group ALQST 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’s rights campaigners.

ALQST said all those arrested were “writers and social media bloggers previously engaged in public discourse on reforms”.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi authorities.

The news of the arrests comes after US lawmakers voted on Thursday 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.

The kingdom is already trying 11 women activists who have now spent a year in detention.

Most of the women were detained last summer in a wide-ranging crackdown against campaigners just before the historic lifting of a decades-long ban on female motorists

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