Saudi Arabia Releases 8 People Held In Activist Crackdown

Vogue cover of Saudi princess behind wheel spurs controversy

Vogue cover of Saudi princess behind wheel spurs controversy

The detainees were not identified.

The statement said the accused admitted to communicating with people and organizations hostile to the kingdom, recruiting people in a sensitive government entity to obtain confidential information to harm the kingdom, and providing financial and moral support to hostile elements overseas.

The public prosecutor said it had interrogated people who were arrested last month.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday said it detained 17 people for "undermining" the kingdom's security, in what campaigners have dubbed a sweeping crackdown against activists just weeks before a ban on women driving ends.

Most were women who had for years campaigned for the reforms now being implemented.

Most have since been released, after reaching settlements with the state.

The Vogue Arabia issue also features other "inspirational" Saudi women, including women's rights activist Manal al-Sharif and Saja Kamal, a footballer working to establish the kingdom's first women's team. "Saudi women have taken to Twitter to object & replaced her image with 3 of arrested activists labelled as "traitors", tweeted Saudi-American activist Nora Abdulkarim.

Man ordered to move out of parents' home finalizing moving plans
Rotondo will apparently spend the next week living in an Airbnb in Syracuse, New York , before moving in with a distant cousin. Rotondo refused the judge's request to work things out directly with his parents, who sat quietly nearby.

A ban on women driving in the kingdom, set to be lifted on June 24, has been hailed as proof of a progressive trend. It did not identify the detainees.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement last week that the "Saudi government seems so consumed with silencing dissent that even activists who have gone quiet for fear of retribution are being targeted again". The terms of the release were unclear.

State-linked media have referred to the group as "foreign embassy agents" and branded them traitors.

Nine suspects, including four women, remain in custody after they "confessed" to a slew of charges such as suspicious contact with "hostile" organisations and recruiting people in sensitive government positions, it said in a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency.

Prince Mohammed serves as deputy prime minister under his father, King Salman.

Social reform efforts under way in the conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia have come under fire from the USA -designated terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

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