Saudi Arabia did not identify the three women but several reports named them as Blogger Eman al-Nafjan; Aziza al-Youssef, a retired lecturer at King Saud University; and Academic Rokaya al-Mohareb.
In its report, SPA said Riyadh's criminal court "indicated that the temporary release was decided after it studied their requests submitted during the trial sessions." They also indicated that the release is conditional until a final decision is reached by the court.
Today, in the second session in the trial of the #Saudi female activists: -their defence was received -date of next hearing was scheduled (to be published later) -journalists & diplomats were prevented from attending
"This is a long overdue step as these women should never have been jailed in the first place and their release should certainly not be on a ‘temporary’ basis," said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of research.
According to the newspaper Al Jazeera, at least one of the women tried to commit suicide following mistreatment, a close relative said.
The detainees were subjected to torture. The women have said they were caned on their backs and thighs, electrocuted and waterboarded by masked men who did not identify themselves, the AP reported. Some women say they were threatened with rape and death.
Eleven prominent figures in the women's rights movement in the country were detained last May. The Saudi public prosecutor’s office said that they undertook "coordinated activity to undermine the security, stability and social peace of the kingdom." They were also accused of being traitors and "agents of embassies."
Thirty-six countries urged Saudi Arabia to release the detained activists and expressed "significant concerns about reports of continuing arrests and arbitrary detention of human rights defenders in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
Journalists and diplomats have not been allowed to attend the hearings.
Since he has been to power, Prince Mohammed has courted the West to support ambitious economic and social reforms but his reputation was tarnished following Saudi agents killed Khashoggi last October at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.