Jailed scholars stage hunger strike in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH (AA): Jailed scholars in Saudi prisons have staged a hunger strike to protest their detention, according to an activist group on Monday. 

The Prisoners of Conscience group said on Twitter Sheikh Abdullah al-Hamed started an open-ended hunger strike in his prison. 

“His hunger strike aims to protest ill-treatment in prison,” the group said. 

The activist said four other detainees — Abdulkarim al-Khader, Fawzan al-Harbi, Mohammed Fahd al-Qahtani and Abdul Rahman al-Hamed — also announced hunger strikes in prison. 

“We hope this move would bear fruit soon,” it said, calling for the immediate release of all jailed activists from prison. 

There was no comment from Saudi authorities on the report. 

The hunger strike has won support from the son of jailed preacher Salman al-Ouda. 

“The strike draws the attention to systematic violations against all detainees,” Abdullah al-Ouda said on Twitter. 

Saudi authorities have launched a crackdown on opponents in late 2017, arresting scores of preachers and intellectuals.