News ID: 260333
Published: 0306 GMT October 16, 2019

Gazans call on Saudi Arabia to free jailed relatives

Gazans call on Saudi Arabia to free jailed relatives
Families of Palestinians, held in jails in Saudi Arabia, hold placards in Arabic that some read, "Release our sons in Saudi prisons, and No for the policy of isolation and torture for the prisoners in Saudi jails" during a protest in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross office in Gaza, on Oct. 16, 2019.

Several families of Palestinians imprisoned by Saudi Arabia held a protest in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, calling on the Persian Gulf kingdom to set them free.

The families gathered outside the International Committee of the Red Cross office in Gaza City, holding banners against the detention and calling for an end to their "torture" in Saudi prisons, AP reported.

Most of the nearly 50 detainees are believed to be affiliated with Palestinian resistance movement Hamas that controls Gaza.

Hamas officials say Saudi authorities intensified a crackdown on the group's supporters in the kingdom this year, rounding up dozens of Palestinian doctors, engineers and traders across the country.

Hamas says Saudi Arabia arrested the Palestinians for collecting donations for Palestinian charities, not on security charges.

Bassem Naim, a Hamas official, said the prisoners did not carry out any "political activities" in Saudi Arabia. Condemning the detentions, he said the arrests hurt the Palestinian cause.

"Many signs suggest that these detentions have a political framework to pursue anybody who engages with the worries of their people and their just cause. Certainly, these arrests only serve the Israeli occupation, its programs and projects in the region," he said.

Mohammed al-Aqqad, who attended the sit-in, said his three nephews, who were born in Riyadh, were recently arrested.

"They work in a society that presents donations for the poor in Gaza and builds mosques in Gaza, this is what we know about the society," he said.


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