Fifteen women and seven children have demonstrated outside a state security HQ demanding a fair public trial for their husbands, stop torture, and transfer them back to a local prison. Fouad al-Farhan, the blogger who has been on hiatus for a long time and now is back, broke the story on his blog.
This is important because it is the first time for women to hold a public demonstration in protest in Saudi Arabia. I doubt that mainstream media would actually cover the story, and hence it is important to spread the word online in blogs and forums. Go to Fouad’s blog now and sign your name in support of these women, and make sure this reaches as many people as possible.
UPDATE: Reuters confirmed the story.
RIYADH, July 16 (Reuters) – Wives of Saudi men detained on suspicion of links to militant groups complained to the authorities on Monday, saying their husbands should be released or face a public trial, families said.
“Our husbands and sons are in prison … We have sent telegrams and we’ve gone to the Human Rights Commission but it’s useless. So we are staging this sit-in,” Rima al-Juraish said by telephone. She said she was speaking from outside a state security headquarters in the Qassim region north of Riyadh.
She said the women wanted cases involving their families brought to court, legal representation for the men, an end to “mistreatment” and their return to a local prison.
Juraish said the detainees, who have been held for periods ranging from two to five years, were removed to Riyadh last month for induction in a “correction” programme run by clerics that authorities say has led more than 700 suspects to “repent”.