Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, has also been arrested by Saudi authorities.

Samar Badawi

Samar Badawi

Amnesty International reports that Samar Badawi, a human rights activist, was arrested on the morning of January 12 in Jeddah and transferred along with her two-year-old daughter, Joud, to a police station. She was reportedly transferred from there to Dhabhan prison and will face the prosecutor tomorrow.

The report makes possible links between the arrest and Badawi’s managing of a Twitter account campaigning for the release of her former husband, the imprisoned human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair.

Philip Luther, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program, said: “Samar Badawi’s arrest today is yet another alarming setback for human rights in Saudi Arabia and demonstrates the extreme lengths to which the authorities are prepared to go in their relentless campaign to harass and intimidate human rights defenders into silent submission.”

The rights group has called for her immediate and unconditional release.

Badawi’s brother, Raif Badawi, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and 100 lashes by the Saudi government for launching a website for public debate.