RealNews

Saudis Free Dissident After 8 Years

A Saudi political dissident whose release had been urged by Osama bin Laden in a videotape last year, and by human rights organizations around the world, has been quietly let out of prison after eight years. Said bin Zuair, an Islamist reformer jailed in 1995 after speaking out against corruption in the Saudi royal family and the kingdom’s reliance on U.S. troops for defense, was released without comment late Monday, his family said. “With the war going on in Iraq, there’s pressure on the government, so maybe they decided it might be better to let him out,” Bin Zuair’s son Abdullah said Tuesday. “People are angry that the Saudi government didn’t help Iraq more than it did, and this might have been a way to release some of the pressure.” Hundreds of visitors trooped to the Bin Zuair residence throughout the day, and calls streamed in from numerous foreign countries to congratulate a man who had been described by human rights groups as Saudi Arabia’s longest-held political prisoner. Full Story

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