Saudi Arabia has taken into custody an American woman who has been locked in a yearslong struggle to take her young daughter back out of the kingdom over the objections of her Saudi ex-husband, according to U.S. officials and a U.S.-based advocacy group Tuesday.
Carly Morris was summoned to a police station in the north-central city of Buraidah on Monday, and has yet to be released by Saudi authorities, according to the Washington-based Freedom Initiative. The group advocates for people it believes wrongfully detained in the Middle East.
U.S. officials said Saudi authorities had confirmed the detention of Morris, whose efforts to leave the kingdom with her now 8-year-old daughter have been made more difficult by Saudi Arabia’s strict male guardianship laws. Morris in recent months had spoken to reporters and tweeted about her circumstances.
“Our embassy in Riyadh is very engaged on this case, and they’re following the situation very closely,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in Washington on Tuesday.