The spotlight on the kingdom of Saudi Arabia after the killing of dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has forced the release last month of three female political prisoners who were campaigning to soften Saudi restrictions on women.
“Amnesty International calls on the Saudi authorities to drop all the charges against them and the other women’s human rights defenders, who all must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Research Lynn Maalouf.
Ali al-Ahmed, an exiled Saudi opposition leader and director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, told NPR the release of the three activists “is a product of international pressure” after the arrests and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
“It is the current spotlight on Saudi Arabia and [Salman] by the U.N. and international media, that is making the kingdom treat these women fairly,” Ahmed said, wrote NPR.
In a related development in early January…a prominent Saudi Imam and preacher at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina died after five months in detention, his family and rights activists said, amid heightened criticism of Riyadh’s human rights record following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reported TRT World. Ahmed discusses the situation in the video below.
CD Media will update the situation in the Kingdom as developments occur. Saudi Arabia is an important ally to the United States in its current campaign for regime change in Iran, the Shia Islamic State that threatens the entire Middle East and the world.