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Female activists go on trial in Saudi Arabia

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Ten women rights activists have appeared before a court in Saudi Arabia amid international outcry over their detention without charges.

The women attended their first trial in Riyadh's criminal court on Wednesday. According to a judicial official, only family members of the detainees were allowed to enter the court. More than a dozen women activists were rounded up in May last year in what Human Rights Watch and Amnesty international described as the kingdom’s escalating crackdown on activists. According to reports and HRW’s documents, some of the detainees had even gone through torture, abuse and sexual harassment. The latest trial has intensified scrutiny of the Kingdom’s rights record following the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey last October.


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