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Political reformist freed from Saudi prison

Last November, about 70 Saudis protested the detention of 11 political reformers by staging a two-day hunger strike. The strikers fasted in the privacy of their homes, but publicized what they were doing online, including on Facebook. They did this to avoid violating the government ban on public gatherings.

Now, one of the better-known detainees, Matrouq Al Faleh, 55, a political science professor at King Saud University, has been freed. He returned home Saturday night after eight months in prison, according to his wife, Jamila Al ‘Uqla. 

Al ‘Uqla said her husband’s health is good. But she declined to have him come to the phone to speak with a a reporter.

One other detainee has been released since the hunger strike, and prison conditions have improved for the nine still held, human rights sources here said. One official said he believed the remaining detainees would be freed 'soon.'