Prominent Saudi blogger Nazir Al-Majid was released by Saudi authorities on Thursday, after spending a year in solitary confinement without facing any charges.
A Shia blogger concerned with issues of freedom and religion in his writings, Al-Majid had participated in anti-government protests in the Eastern province of Al-Qatif – mostly inhabited by Shias – when he was arrested last March.
Nazir had gone on a hunger strike last year, when other rights activists campaigned for his release online. The news of his release came only a day after large protests hit the Qatif governorate of Saudi Arabia, calling for the release of Shia cleric Nimr Al-Nimr. Security officers arrested several protesters while firing on demonstrators.
For its part, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) released a statement on its website condemning the Saudi forces’ violent crackdown on protesters which left a number of protesters injured.
The Eastern province of Al-Qatif has been repeatedly witnessing protests by its citizens, usually calling for political reforms in the Sunni-led Saudi regime. Human rights groups are putting the number of Qatif-protests detainees at 160.