Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is preparing the trials of women’s rights activists, the state news agency SPA announced Friday. The announcement comes directly after White House senior adviser Jared Kushner visited with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Tuesday to reportedly push his Mideast peace plan. The sparse report referenced nine detainees identified by watchdog groups as activists who were arrested in June 2018, and are being held on suspicion of harming national stability. Dozens of other activists, intellectuals, and clerics have been arrested separately in an apparent bid to stamp out opposition to the crown prince. MBS has consolidated power in the country and championed a sweeping anti-corruption campaign. Women activists have repeatedly been jailed after campaigning for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom’s male guardianship system. Some who were later released say they were held in solitary confinement for months and faced torture and sexual harassment. The Kingdom has denied the allegations of torture.
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