AP NEWS

Saudi rights group says 3 released amid latest crackdown

November 28, 2019 GMT
FILE- In this Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, file photo, Saudi participants at the Future Investment Initiative, "FII" stand for the national anthem in front of a screen displaying images of Saudi King Salman, right, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a day before it will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has detained at least eight intellectuals and former bloggers in a fresh wave of arrests targeting people with links to reformers. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
FILE- In this Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, file photo, Saudi participants at the Future Investment Initiative, "FII" stand for the national anthem in front of a screen displaying images of Saudi King Salman, right, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a day before it will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has detained at least eight intellectuals and former bloggers in a fresh wave of arrests targeting people with links to reformers. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — London-based Saudi rights group ALQST says three men who were detained in a fresh wave of arrests targeting Saudi Arabia’s intellectual and reformist circles have now been released.

The rights group said Thursday that authorities released Badr al-Rashed, a Saudi journalist and author, Sulaiman al-Saikhan al-Nasser, a banker and prominent analyst, and Fuad al-Farhan, a former blogger who founded Rwaq, an Arabic online learning platform.

Rights groups and activists say at least eight people were detained in recent days in this latest sweep. Some were journalists or former writers who stopped publishing years ago. Others are small business owners or entrepreneurs.

The arrests, which are part of a two-year-long crackdown on perceived government critics, appear to target people who may have been loosely associated with reformists and Saudi rights activists.