Saudi Arab

Jailed Saudi activist on hunger strike over refusal to release him

jailA Saudi activist detained for interfering with state security via online calls for protest demonstrations has begun a hunger strike, his lawyer said.

Eisa al-Marzouq, from Jazan Province in southern Saudi Arabia, was arrested two weeks ago after he called for demonstrations against the displacement of families near the border with Yemen and the issue of political prisoners in the Kingdom.

His lawyer Amr al-Rafei told Reuters on Sunday that al-Marzouq has refused to eat and drink to protest against being detained without any date set for a court hearing.

“Eisa was calling for demonstrations to demand the rights of the families on the southern border as well as the families of detained individuals and prisoners of conscience in all of Saudi Arabia,” al-Rafei said adding that he is still being held even after the investigation was completed.

Al-Marzouq had campaigned on behalf of Saudi villagers, who were evacuated from their homes near the Yemeni border in late 2009 during a brief conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Houthi fighters. The villagers have not been allowed to return homes after almost three years.

In September, they staged a protest demanding to be allowed to return home or be paid compensation, but the Riyadh government has not commented on the case yet.


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