July 23, 2019 / 9:03 AM / 4 months ago

Saudi Arabia releases Qatari national detained for a year -rights group

DOHA (Reuters) - A Qatari national arrested in Yemen on suspicions of working with the Iran-aligned Houthis has been released after more than a year in detention in Saudi Arabia, Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said.

Mohsen Al-Karbi was arrested in April 2018 by a Saudi-led coalition that is fighting in Yemen against the Houthi movement that ousted the internationally recognised government in power from the capital Sanaa.

Yemeni security sources said at the time that Yemen’s own forces arrested the Qatari man on the border with Oman on suspicion he was an intelligence officer with the Houthis.

Qatar’s state-linked NHRC has said that Karbi was in Yemen visiting relatives, and that he was held without charge in Saudi Arabia and prohibited from contacting his family or a lawyer.

“The National Human Rights Committee calls on Saudi authorities to compensate the Qatari national Mohsen Al-Karbi for the harm inflicted on him during the period of his enforced disappearance,” an NHRC statement said on Monday.

The NHRC also called for the release of a second Qatari national, Abdulaziz Saeed Abdulla, a student it said has been detained in Saudi Arabia since July 2018 without trial.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed an economic and diplomatic boycott on Qatar since June 2017 over its alleged support for terrorism, a charge Doha denies.

Saudi Arabia’s government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Eric Knecht; Additional reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Catherine Evans

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