Monday, September 24, 2007

Saudis free one of nine reformists

from AFP

Saudi Arabia has freed reformist lawyer Issam Basrawi, one of nine advocates of an Islam-based constitutional monarchy held without trial for more than seven months, a fellow activist said on Friday. His release came one week after activists said they had petitioned King Abdullah calling for all nine reformists to be freed. The petition signed by 135 activists urged the king to free the nine men or to ensure that they get a public trial. The interior ministry attributed the arrests in early February to their alleged involvement in terror funding, but the petition said the nine had been mulling the formation of an Islamic political party. Political parties are banned in Saudi Arabia, which has no elected legislature -- only a consultative council appointed by the monarch.

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