By Umar Farooq</p> <p>WASHINGTON (AA) – Saudi Arabia detained two dual U.S.-Saudi citizens as a part of their latest crackdown on activists and writers, according to The Washington Post.</p> <p>The latest arrests occurred Thursday, including Salah al-Haidar and Bader al-Ibrahim, the newspaper reported.</p> <p>Haider is the son of Aziza al-Yousef, who is a prominent women's rights activist in the country. Yousef was temporarily released from custody last week but she currently stands on trial for charges related to her activism work.</p> <p>"Haidar, Ibrahim and others arrested were part of a loose-knit group of writers and activists who were supportive of the women’s rights movement and other progressive causes but not considered to be especially visible or outspoken," the Post said.</p> <p>The arrests come as a surprise to some because the government had promised to ease on the detentions, offering a sense of benevolence after releasing Yousef from prison.
Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to Anadolu Agency's request for comment.
The detentions are a part of a larger crackdown by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler, who has been targeting clerics, academics, writers, and activists, arresting hundreds since September 2017.
While bin Salman has seemed to have lifted restrictions on Saudi society, such as lifting the ban on women driving, at the same time he has tightened his rule by wiping out dissenting voices. This came to light on the international stage when Saudi agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.
While the Saudi government said it was a botched rendition attempt, the CIA concluded with high confidence that the crown prince ordered the killing.