FILE - In this March 29, 2014 file photo, Aziza al-Yousef drives a car on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia’s then ban on women driving. Saudi women’s rights activists, including al-Yousef, are expected to appear before a judge Wednesday, March 27, 2019, on charges that include speaking to foreign journalists. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

FILE - In this March 29, 2014 file photo, Aziza al-Yousef drives a car on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia’s then ban on women driving. Saudi women’s rights activists, including al-Yousef, are expected to appear before a judge Wednesday, March 27, 2019, on charges that include speaking to foreign journalists. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

Detained Saudi women’s rights activists expected in court

The women, who’ve been detained for 10 months, were expected to appear at Riyadh’s criminal court Wednesday

Saudi women’s rights activists are expected to appear before a judge for their second court session on charges that include speaking to foreign journalists.

Several people with knowledge of the cases say the charges for the nearly dozen women relate to their efforts to promote women’s rights and sharing information with accredited foreign reporters, diplomats and human rights groups.

The women, who’ve been detained for 10 months, were expected to appear at Riyadh’s criminal court Wednesday. The women are being tried separately and have been allowed to appoint a lawyer.

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In remarks to The Associated Press, Walid al-Hathloul, the brother of detained activist Loujain al-Hathloul, questioned why speaking to Western journalists would be a deemed a crime when Saudi officials regularly conduct interviews with Western media outlets.

Aya Batrawy, The Associated Press

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