Saudi Arabia arrests two more women activists

Updated Jun 21 2018

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DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has arrested two more women’s rights activists, in an “unrelenting crackdown” just days before the kingdom ends a decades-long ban on female motorists, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

The New York-based watchdog said activists Nouf Abdelaziz and Mayaa al-Zahrani were arrested earlier this month following the detention of at least 14 other women’s rights campaigners and supporters.

Activist and writer Abdelaziz was arrested after she publicly expressed solidarity with the detained activists, and her friend Zahrani was apprehended days later, HRW said, adding that both women are being held incommunicado. Zahrani’s arrest came after she posted a letter Abdelaziz asked her to make public in case of her arrest, the watchdog said.

“Saudi authorities have arrested two more women’s rights activists... in what appears to be an unrelenting crackdown on the women’s rights movement,” HRW said. “Saudi activists have reported that the authorities have placed travel bans on numerous others since May 15.”

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2018