A liberal Saudi writer has been detained on charges of making insulting comments about Islam.
Family members said Turki Al-Hamad was arrested on the orders of Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdel Aziz on December 24.
Al-Hamad recently attacked radical Islamists on his Twitter account.
He accused them of twisting the message of Prophet Muhammad.
In a recent tweet he characterized Islamic extremism as "a neo-Nazism which is on the rise in the Arab world."
The comments prompted a fierce debate between his supporters and opponents on social networking websites in Saudi Arabia.
Authorities and conservative clerics have criticized Al-Hamad many times before for his outspoken liberal views in the conservative country.
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa