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Saudi activist arrests, MBS’s low profile raise questions over direction of reforms

Contradictory signals from Saudi Arabia are raising concerns that the reform process championed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) may not have much depth in reality. On the one hand, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia)’s mutawa religious police have had their powers of arrest taken away and have all but disappeared from the streets, while the kingdom is looking forward to the advent of women being allowed to drive, which is due to take effect from 24 June.

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