World, middle east

Jailed Saudi cleric’s health deteriorating: Activists

Awad al-Qarni was one of many Muslim preachers, writers arrested by Saudi authorities in late 2017

  | 09.01.2019
Jailed Saudi cleric’s health deteriorating: Activists

RIYADH

The health condition of Awad al-Qarni, a prominent Saudi Muslim cleric arrested in late 2017, has deteriorated markedly following more than a year behind bars, Saudi activists said Tuesday.

“Al-Qarni has been hospitalized since mid-December following a severe deterioration of his health,” Saudi activists, speaking anonymously on the “m3takl” Twitter account, said.

The same source went on to assert that al-Qarni's health had deteriorated due to “neglect” by the Saudi prison authorities and the “heavy psychological pressure” to which he is being subjected.

Al-Qarni was one of several Muslim preachers, academics and writers arrested by the Saudi authorities in a crackdown carried out in late 2017.

The same campaign also saw the arrest of prominent Saudi preacher Salman al-Awda.

Al-Qarni’s ongoing detention -- and news of his declining health condition -- comes amid mounting international criticism of Saudi Arabia following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country's consulate in Istanbul last October.

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