En gruppe aktivister har gått til sultestreik i Saudi-Arabia i protest mot at de ikke får noe svar på spørsmål om 11 mennesker som er kastet i fengsel for å ha krevd reformer. De 13 annonserte aksjonen på Facebook og fikk selskap av 55 andre.

A group of Saudi activists began a rare public hunger strike Thursday to demand judiciary reform and draw attention to the detention without trial of 11 political reformists.

The 65 mostly male protesters plan to continue the strike they are holding in their homes on Friday. Their action in a country that bans public gatherings, protests and political parties could land them in jail.

Mohammad al-Qahtani, one of 13 activists who called for the protest, said the group resorted to the strike after the government failed to respond to letters sent to influential officials asking them to release the reformists, improve prison conditions and reform the legal system.

«We used all legal means to make our voice heard but we were ignored,» said al-Qahtani, a college professor. «That’s why we don’t fear any government retribution.»

The jailed reformists include Matrook al-Faleh, a human rights activist who was detained in May for advocating constitutional reform, and 10 other activists jailed in Jiddah in 2007.

The 13 men posted a statement on the social networking site Facebook to announce the strike and urge other Saudis to participate. Fifty-two people have so far signed up to join the 13 activists. They include writers, lawyers and college students.

Saudis on hunger strike to demand judiciary reform