Saudi rights group ALQST says verdicts for imprisoned female activists could be issued on April 17 [File: Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

Nearly a dozen Saudi women’s rights activists, most of them imprisoned, attended their third court session on Wednesday and were told their trials will continue for at least two more weeks.

The 11 women, some of whom allegedly faced torture and sexual abuse during nearly a year in detention, are on trial in Riyadh’s criminal court on charges that include contact with foreign media, diplomats and human rights groups.

Three of them – blogger Eman al-Nafjan, retired university lecturer Aziza al-Youssef and preacher Rokaya al-Mohareb – were seen entering the court after they were provisionally freed last Thursday.

The others were subsequently expected to

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