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News Link • Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia expands crackdown on women's rights activists

• yahoo.com By Sarah Dadouch

Rights groups last week reported the detention of seven activists, mostly women who previously campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom's male guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male relative for major decisions.

The government later announced that seven people had been arrested for suspicious contacts with foreign entities and offering financial support to "enemies overseas", and said authorities would identify others involved.

State-backed media labeled those held as traitors and "agents of embassies", unnerving diplomats in Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, with some likening it to repression in neighboring Egypt and saying their governments would privately discuss the matter with Saudi authorities.

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