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Saudi Arabia’s Most Famous Prisoners Go Silent During Pandemic

  • Authorities halted family contact with high-profile detainees
  • Cases of detained U.S. citizens moving toward trial: Sources
Loujain al-Hathloul
Loujain al-HathloulSource: AFP via Getty Images
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Saudi authorities have severed contact between some of the kingdom’s most prominent detainees and their families, escalating a crackdown on dissent that threatens to strain relations with Western allies.

Loujain Al-Hathloul, a women’s rights activist whose 2018 arrest made global headlines, hasn’t called her family since June 9, her sister said. Princess Basmah bint Saud — a royal family member imprisoned with her adult daughter — hasn’t contacted relatives since April, when her detention was made public on Twitter, according to people familiar with the matter. And Salman Al-Odah, a prominent religious cleric detained in 2017, made his last call on May 12, according to his son.