On 17 May 2020, the social media activist Amani Al-Zain was arrested from her family house on direct orders issued by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. She has remained in an unknown location for six months before being identified in Saudi custody.
Al-Zain was arrested after an old recording of a video chat between her and the Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim, has spread widely on social networks in which Al-Zain called the Saudi crown prince by the nickname “Abu Munshar” (“father of the saw”), referring to the order he issued to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose body was cut up with a saw at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 02 October 2018.
During the above-mentioned video chat, which originally published on 15 October 2019, the two were seen joking about freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia.
Her arrest came after a large Twitter campaign bearing the Arabic hashtag #Amani_AlZain_insulting_Crown_Prince was initiated by an online army of government supporters who called for her arrest.
Since Prince Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the government has arrested dozens of activists, bloggers and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.
Together for Justice organisation renews its call to the Saudi authorities to release the Saudi activist and blogger Amani Al-Zain, holding the Saudi authorities responsible for her life and safety.