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Saudi Arabia arrests Pakistani anti-war journalist

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pakistani journalist Zaid Hamid (file photo)

Saudi forces have arrested a leading Pakistani journalist opposed to Saudi Arabia’s military aggression against Yemen.

Zaid Hamid, a Pakistani defense analyst and political commentator, was arrested weeks ago by Saudi security forces in the holy city of Mecca during a private visit with his wife to the kingdom, The Express Tribune reported on Friday.

“Our embassy in Riyadh has informed us that Mr Zaid Hamid was arrested about two weeks ago. Since then, the embassy has been working with the local authorities to get consular access,” said Pakistan’s Foreign Office in Islamabad.

Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah added that, through the Pakistani embassy’s diplomatic channels, Hamid’s wife had been able to get permission to talk to him in one session.

Meanwhile, there are speculations that Saudi forces took the outspoken media figure into custody for his vocal anti-Riyadh stance.

Saudi authorities are yet to comment on the report.

Hamid’s articles and speeches reportedly shed light on Saudi atrocities in Yemen, and accused Riyadh of providing financial support to the Takfiri ISIL terrorists and al-Qaeda militants in the region.

Saudi Arabia launched military strikes on Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to restore power to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a Riyadh ally, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.


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