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Jailed Saudi rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul begins hunger strike

Jailed Saudi human rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul has launched a hunger strike demanding regular contact with her family

Jailed Saudi human rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul has launched a hunger strike demanding regular contact with her family, relatives have said.

"Today at 7 p.m. Riyadh time, my sister Loujain has started a hunger strike because the al-Ha'ir prison administration has deprived her of her right to contact her family," Loujain's sisters, Alia, said on Twitter.

Loujain's other sister, Lina, also said on Twitter that Loujain had informed their parents that "she is exhausted of being mistreated and deprived from hearing her family's voices".

"She told them she will start a hunger strike starting yesterday evening until they allow her regular calls again," she added.

It was not immediately possible to obtain comment from the Saudi authorities on the information, but the kingdom usually denies any failure to care for its detainees, Reuters reported.

READ: 8 child offenders face death penalty in Saudi Arabia

Saudi authorities arrested a number of human rights activists, including Al-Hathloul, Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sada, Nouf Abdel Aziz and Maya Al-Zahrani, on 15 May 2018, for allegedly harming the kingdom's security.

However, human rights reports said the activists had been arrested for defending women's rights.

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