Saudi women activists on trial

RIYADH: Ten Saudi women appeared in court yesterday for the first time since being detained last year in a sweeping crackdown on activists. Prominent activists Loujain Al-Hathloul, Hatoon Al-Fassi, Aziza Al-Yousef and Eman Al-Nafjan were among those who attended Riyadh’s criminal court, where they heard charges raised against them, court president Ibrahim Al-Sayari said. Family members of the women – some of whom allegedly faced torture and sexual harassment during interrogation – were permitted to attend the opening court session, but reporters and Western diplomats were barred from entering. – AFP