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Rights group says Saudi detains liberal journalist

Written by: Staff

DUBAI, Apr 7 (Reuters) Media rights group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) today said Saudi Arabia had detained a Saudi journalist after he criticised conservative Islamists.

Rabah al-Quwai, who writes for the dailies Okaz and Shams as well as Saudi-run Web sites, was detained on Monday in the northern city of Hail, the US-based group said in a statement.

''Local prosecutors are investigating al-Quwai for allegedly having 'denigrated Islamic beliefs' in writings that scrutinised conservative religious forces, his lawyer, Abdelrahman al-Lahem, told CPJ,'' the statement said.

Saudi officials were not immediately available to comment.

Saudi Arabia detained an Islamist activist for about 10 days last month after he criticised a cabinet minister in an Internet article.

King Abdullah, who has said he supports cautious reforms, pardoned some jailed activists when he came to power in August.

Reuters OM VP0245

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