Saudi Arabia has detained thousands of people as part of its anti-terrorism drive without charging them and sometimes even ignoring court rulings ordering their release, Human Rights Watch said Aug. 11; Amnesty International issued a similar report in July. In a report, HRW said the General Directorate for Investigations, the domestic intelligence agency, was holding an unknown number of people in its prisons, among them foreigners, and dissidents demanding democratic reforms. HRW estimated that more than 9,000 had been held since al Qaeda launched a campaign in 2003, of whom probably between 2,000 and 4,000 were still detained. (Reuters)

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