A 34-year-old American woman posted on Twitter that she and her young daughter have been trapped in Saudi Arabia since 2019. Carly Morris had taken her eight-year-old daughter to the Kingdom to meet her ex-husband's father.
Her ex-husband is trapping their young daughter in the kingdom under so-called guardianship laws, an advocacy group told AFP. Morris has been locked in a battle to take her daughter with her back to the US.
The US has confirmed to the Associated Press the detention of Morris, a native of California. Spokesman Ned Price said: “Our embassy in Riyadh is very engaged on this case, and they’re following the situation very closely.” "Whenever a person is detained abroad, we seek immediate access to visit the individual, to aid him or her with all appropriate consular assistance," Price said.
Morris was detained after she was summoned to the public prosecutor's office on Sunday. She was summoned for allegedly “destabilising public order”. It isn't clear whether Morris' daughter has been detained with her.
“Morris’ detention means that we’re now aware of three Americans behind bars in Saudi Arabia, yet another sign that Saudi simply does not value the US as an ally,” Allison McManus, the Freedom Initiative’s research director to the Guardian. Morris' tweet and her account have been removed from Twitter.
In October, Saad Ibrahim Almadi, 72, a dual US-Saudi national was sentenced to 16 years in prison for tweeting critically about the Saudi regime over the years from his home in Florida. He arrived in the Kingdom for a short stay in 2021.