In its continuous clamp down on freedom of speech, Saudi Arabia arrested a prominent human rights activist on Tuesday.
The activist, Samar Badawi, until recently had led the campaign to free her former husband, Waleed Abu al-Khair, a Saudi lawyer currently serving a 15-year sentence in connection with his own activism.
She is also the sister of Raef Badawi, a Saudi blogger who was sentenced to a large fine, 10 years in prison and 1,000 blows with a cane for running a website that criticized the country’s Wahhabi establishment. He received 50 blows in a public square last year, prompting international outrage. The caning stopped, but. Badawi remains in prison.
Amnesty International, one of the organizations that reported Badawi’s arrest, called it “the latest example of Saudi Arabia’s utter contempt for its human rights obligations.”
Her trouble with the authorities comes less than two weeks after Saudi Arabia executed 47 men, including Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
Badawi known for pushing more rights for women in a kingdom that bars them from marrying, traveling abroad and getting some medical procedures without the permission of a male guardian.
In 2012, the State Department gave Badawi an International Woman of Courage Award. In 2014, the Saudi government barred Ms. Badawi from traveling outside the kingdom. On Tuesday, she was arrested with her 2-year-old daughter in Jidda, according to a statement by Amnesty International citing Saudi activists.
It remained unclear why Ms. Badawi had been detained and whether she would be charged with a crime.
Source: Al-Ahed news