A New York woman who was famously arrested in 2016 after walking through the streets of Riyadh without a cover-up says her husband has now been mysteriously detained.
Malak al-Shehri, 35, who works as a waitress in Manhattan, says Ayman al-Drees, 31, was followed by an unmarked car as he traveled to his family's date farm before being arrested by authorities who were not in uniform in the eastern part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on April 4.
She wrote on Twitter from Los Angeles at the time that the 'translator, an activist, and the love of my life was arrested today alongside other Saudi activists and intellectuals'.
Saudi feminist Malak al-Shehri, 35, wants to know why husband Ayman al-Drees, 31, was arrested in Saudi Arabia on April 4
She famously walked on the streets of the capital without an abaya or hijab in 2016 when women were not allowed to do so before
His worried wife told NBC News she has spoken to him at the time of his arrest and while he remained positive that everything would be resolved eventually, he said he wished he had listened to her when she encouraged him to flee the Middle Eastern country last year.
On April 6 she posted: 'Until now there is no way to contact him or to know where he is or to know what are the charges behind his arrest.'
Al-Drees – who studied at Ohio's Bowling Green State University – is not a frontline activist but reached out to Al-Shehri after she tweeted an image of herself without a hijab on her head or abaya over her clothing three years ago.
Al-Shehri – originally from Saudi - married the man who she told NBC News 'loves strong women' in April 2017 after he flew to KSA to make it official.
Human rights advocates believe he's one of 14 detained last week who are simply connected to detained activists or deemed supportive of women's rights.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he has questioned KSA officials about the detainment as well as two dual US-Saudi citizens also detained last month.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, picture left with President Trump right, only relaxed rules for women in the country in 2018. Now dress code has changed and females can drive
Al-Shehri met her husband after he reached out following her modest dress protest in 2016
Al-Shehri moved back to the US in 2018 but al-Drees stayed in the Kingdom. She said at the time of his arrest he told her he wished he'd listened to her plea to go back to the US
It came six months after the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the KSA embassy in Istanbul which man called for President Trump to sanction the country for.
Al-Shehri has been posting on social media in hope drawing attention to the arrest will get enough attention to help her find out more.
'Every tweet I write, I am scared it will affect him,' she told NBC News.
Al-Shehri moved back to the US where she too had previously studied after several female activists - and men who had