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Political activist and writer Matrook Al-Faleh released from prison

(WiPC/IFEX) - The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN welcomes the release on 10 January 2009 of leading reformist and academic Professor Matrook Al-Faleh, who had been held without charge since 19 May 2008, apparently for his writings and activism in support of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia. He is said to be in good health.

According to PEN's information, Professor Matrook al-Faleh, a professor of political science at King Saud University in Riyadh and one of Saudi Arabia's leading reformists, was arrested on 19 May, two days after issuing a statement criticising conditions in Buraida Prison. He was held incommunicado without charge or trial throughout his eight-month detention. He is thought to remain subject to a travel ban enforced before his latest arrest.

Previously, in March 2004, Professor Al-Faleh was amongst twelve reformers to be arrested after openly criticizing the slow pace of reform in the kingdom. He was sentenced on 15 May 2005 to 6 years in prison, and was a main case of International PEN. He was amnestied on 9 August 2005.

Updates the Al-Faleh case:

For further information on Al-Faleh's arrest in 2004, see:

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