Human rights organization expresses concerns about American they say is trapped in Saudi Arabia

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CNN

A human rights organization has spoken out about an American who they say remains trapped in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Freedom Initiative, Carly Morris “remains trapped in Saudi Arabia due to a travel ban and under constant threat of rearrest.”

“Saudi authorities should immediately lift the travel ban against her and permit her to return home to the US with her daughter,” Bethany Alhaidari, Saudi Case Manager at the Freedom Initiative, said in a press release Thursday.

The State Department said it is aware of reports that Morris has been released from detention in the country, spokesperson Ned Price said, but would not speak to whether she is permitted to leave the country.

According to the organization, Alhaidari and her daughter were “lured” to Saudi Arabia in 2019 by her ex-husband, who is a Saudi citizen.

“Though Morris’ daughter only held US citizenship at the time of departure, upon her arrival in Saudi Arabia, she was immediately subject to the country’s male guardianship laws, under which she is barred from exiting the country without her father’s permission,” it said.

Morris was placed under a travel ban in September, according to the Freedom Initiative, and “was informed that she was under investigation for ‘disrupting public order.'”

On Monday, she was summoned to a police station about an alleged issue with her daughter’s identification, the organization said, citing Morris’ family.

“Morris’ ex-husband was waiting at the police station, and upon Morris’s arrival, Saudi authorities forcibly returned her daughter to the father despite the girl’s protests to stay with her mother,” it said.

“Saudi authorities then detained Morris in front of her daughter and placed her in shackles around her ankles and wrists. During her detention, she was interrogated about tweeting and communicating with media and human rights organizations about her situation. Interrogators informed her that doing this was a crime. She did not have legal representation,” the Freedom Initiative said.