Loujain al-Hathloul is a prominent Saudi Arabian human rights defender. In 2014, she defied Saudi’s driving ban for women by attempting to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates. She was detained for 73 days by the security forces.
Thanks to the work of Loujain and her fellow campaigners, the ban on women driving was lifted earlier this year. In a country where women are have to be accompanied by male ‘guardians’ this seemed like an important breakthrough.
But rather than thank these campaigners, the Saudi authorities have clamped down on them – suggesting that the lifting of the ban was more about image than genuine reform.
Loujain and several other activists were re-arrested in May 2018, and have been subjected to a smear campaign, being called traitors by the Saudi authorities. Recent reports have suggested that some of the women detained have been subjected to torture and sexual harassment.
Amnesty Ineternational consider Loujain and the other womens rights activists detained in Saudi Arabia to be prisoners of conscience.
Pop into Peace Hub to send an action card to the Saudi justice minister
The card calls on them to:
- Release these human rights activists immediately and unconditionally;
- Reveal the whereabouts of the human rights activists and ensure they are given access to their family and a lawyer of their choosing without delay, and that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment.
With this clampdown on human rights activists, the kiling of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the ongoing war with Yemen, the situation in Saudi Arabia can seem overwhelming. But by acting togther, we can put pressure on the Saudi government to make real changes, and give hope to the activists in the country that they’re not alone. You can always pop into the Hub for a chat about the issues, and ideas for action to take.
We are highlighting this case because we feel it is relevant to our current theme, and there is a positive action to take. It should not be inferred that Amnesty International endorses Peace Hub in any way.