Saudi Arabia persist with trial for women human rights defenders

March 13, 2019

In spite (or perhaps because) of an exceptional statement in the UN Human Rights Council last week [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/03/08/saudi-arabia-for-first-time-openly-criticized-in-un-human-rights-council/] and the backlash from the Khashoggi murder [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/03/07/peter-nkanga-awarded-with-inaugural-jamal-khashoggi-award-for-courageous-journalism/], Saudi Arabia intends to put the detained women’s rights activists on trial.

Amnesty International urges Saudi authorities to release activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef, outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Paris, March 8, 2019
Image captionAmnesty International activists called for the release of activists at the Saudi embassy in Paris last week – Image copyright REUTERS

Those appearing include Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent figure in the campaign to win Saudi women the right to drive. She was detained last May. Charges they face are said to include supporting “hostile elements” and could carry long prison sentences. As many as 10 women were expected to appear at the criminal court in Riyadh on Wednesday. As well as Ms Hathloul, they include fellow rights activists Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan and Hatoon al-Fassi. Journalists and diplomats have not been allowed to attend the trial.

In the link below you can find BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner’s analysis of decades of human rights issues in the country. Saudi Arabia has an enduring problem with human rights and, sadly, the case of the detained women activists is only the tip of the iceberg…………

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-47553416

2 Responses to “Saudi Arabia persist with trial for women human rights defenders”


  1. […] Alia al-Hathloul says that al-Qahtani attended several such sessions to torture her sister. He also threatened to kill Loujain and throw her body into the sewers, Alia says. According to the newspaper, the women were beaten, subjected to electric shocks, waterboarding, and threatened with death and rape during the interrogations. Loujain’s sister says that at first the Saudi authorities did not send the arrested women to jail, but in a secret location in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. According to US intelligence assessment, the brutal interrogations prompted university professor al-Najfan to attempt suicide. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/03/13/saudi-arabia-persist-with-trial-for-women-human-rights…%5D […]


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