Saudi authorities have arrested on Sunday an activist from Jeddah for “unknown reasons”, a human rights activist told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Raef Badawi is a local activist who has established a liberal network with female rights activist Suad Al Shammari and other activists.
A statement published on Sunday evening by the Gulf Forum for Civil Societies (GFCS), an organisation of liberal activists in the Gulf, confirmed the arrest of the Saudi activist and revealed that Badawi had been charged for disobeying his parents and setting up a liberal network.
Badawi’s organisation campaigns for an end to the influence of religion on public life in the ultra-conservative Kingdom. Last month, members of the liberal network were forced to cancel a conference labelled “day of liberalism” on the “advice” of Saudi authorities.
Rights activists from the Arab states in the Gulf called for Badawi’s release in their statement.
“The Gulf Forum for Civil Societies condemns these charges and demands the immediate release (of Badawi) and dropping of these deliberate charges against him,” the statement said.