The European Union has demanded Saudi Arabia shed light on the arrests and charges facing women human rights activists, saying that the detainees should be granted due process to defend themselves.
Saudi Arabia has in recent months arrested several women’s rights activists, some of whom had campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom’s male guardianship system.
The detentions have triggered a major diplomatic row with Canada after the Canadians demanded the immediate release of the jailed activists.
European Union foreign affairs spokesperson Federica Mogherini said: “The EU has been engaging constructively with the Saudi authorities seeking clarification on the circumstances surrounding the arrests of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, notably with regard to the specific accusations brought against them.”
European Union request comes after Saudi Arabia introduced sanctions against Canada last week.