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IPFS News Link • Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince's Crackdown Spurs New Generation of Activists

• By Stephen Kalin

Public pressure from the family of a Saudi women's rights activist who was jailed is emboldening the relatives of other detainees to speak out, swelling the ranks of critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's crackdown on perceived opponents.

In 2018, Loujain al-Hathloul, who campaigned on women's issues and had fought Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving, was arrested. It came just months before the curb was lifted as part of social reforms implemented by Prince Mohammed, known as MBS.

Ms. Hathloul's family initially stayed quiet after her arrest, hoping for a private resolution. But in 2019 they began speaking out, after she told them she had been tortured in a secret prison by a royal adviser and only escaped rape because a captor intervened.