May 19, 2018

Saudi Arabia arrests women's rights activists

Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Seven Saudi activists who have advocated for lifting the ban on women driving and greater women's rights in the kingdom were arrested this week, according to Human Rights Watch.

Why it matters: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has worked hard to portray himself as modernizing the kingdom — including a whistle-stop tour of the United States — but, per Reuters, that reform has "been accompanied by an apparent crackdown on dissent against critics." This also comes after MBS arrested more than 200 prominent Saudis as part of a corruption crackdown that obtained billions for the country's coffers.

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