International human rights groups have censured Saudi Arabia over its decision to put on trial women’s rights activists detained in last year’s crackdown, after holding them for nearly a year without charge.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Friday that the ultra-conservative kingdom’s public prosecutor was preparing the trials of the detainees as it had concluded its investigation.
The prosecution office, however, did not specify the charges nor give a date for the court proceedings.
More than a dozen activists were arrested last May, and held on suspicion of harming the country’s interests and offering support to hostile elements abroad.
At the time, international rights groups reported the detention of prominent female activists among the detainees, who had previously campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom’s male guardianship system.