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Detained Saudi women back in court but no more releases

A Saudi court hearing in the high-profile trial of detained women has ended without bail for eight of them, campaigners says, following the provisional release of three detainees last week.

Eleven women, some of whom allegedly faced torture and sexual abuse during nearly a year in detention, are on trial in Riyadh’s criminal court on charges that include contact with foreign media, diplomats and human rights groups.

Three of them — blogger Eman al-Nafjan, retired university lecturer Aziza al-Youssef and preacher Rokaya al-Mohareb — were seen entering the court after they were provisionally freed last Thursday.

The others were subsequently expected to be freed, but there was no decision from the three-judge panel on Wednesday.

“The third trial session for the Saudi women activists has ended with NO VERDICTS against any of them, and with no temporary release to any of them,” Prisoners of Conscience, a Saudi group that tracks political prisoners, said on Twitter.

— AFP

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