DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Human Rights Watch says Saudi authorities are holding a prominent Saudi cleric without charge and have imposed arbitrary travel bans on 17 of his relatives without showing “the slightest evidence or accusation of wrongdoing on their part.”
The rights group said in a statement Sunday that Salman al-Awda is among dozens arrested since mid-September. The rights group, speaking to a family member of al-Awda, says he has not been questioned or charged since arrest four months ago and has been held in solitary confinement, allowed just one 13-minute call in October.
His brother, Khaled al-Awda, remains imprisoned for tweeting about the cleric’s arrest, which occurred after he expressed support for Saudi reconciliation with Qatar.
The cleric, known for advocating reforms in recent years, had millions of followers on Twitter.