Senior Hamas official released from Saudi Arabia, heads to Jordan

Mohammad al-Khudary was detained in 2019, along with dozens of others.

FILE - In this March 22, 2018, file photo, an honor guard member is covered by the flag of Saudi Arabia, in Washington. Three young Saudi men who faced death sentences for acts they were accused of committing as minors have been handed a 10-year prison sentence instead, the Saudi Human Rights Commission said
Mohammad al-Khudary had been in Saudi detention since 2019 [File: Cliff Owen/AP Photo]

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have released Mohammad al-Khudary, an 83-year-old senior Hamas official, after more than three years in detention, according to the Palestinian group.

Izzat al-Rishiq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said in a statement that al-Khudary was on board a plane heading to Jordan.

“I spoke to him and he is in good spirits. He hopes and he prays that the rest of his detained brothers be freed,” said al-Rishiq.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi officials.

Al-Khudary was detained by Saudi authorities in 2019, along with dozens of others. Human rights organisation Amnesty International said in March that al-Khudari’s life was “at serious risk in prison”.

Al-Rishiq said Hamas “highly” appreciated Saudi Arabia’s move to release al-Khudary.

“We pray that the step is an introduction to opening a new chapter and seeing the release of the remaining prisoners.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies