A group of Senate Democrats led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to King Salman of Saudi Arabia raising concerns over reports of human rights abuses experienced by activists and an American citizen detained in Saudi Arabia.
The letter’s introduction mentions prominent cases of Raif Badawi, Loujain al-Hathloul and Dr. Walid Fitaihi. The latter is an American citizen who has been held in Saudi Arabia without charges since 2017, and recently gained Congressional attention amidst reports of torture.
The letter also points to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen as evidence that, “for too long, human rights have taken a backseat in Saudi Arabia.” The letter culminates in a call for the release of these prisoners. Sen. Durbin was joined by eight follow Senators, including 2020 Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in signing the letter.