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Loujain al-Hathloul (Amnesty International)


Saudi human rights activist who broke ban on women driving arrested again

By WITW Staff on June 6, 2017

Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested again on Sunday at King Fahad International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, for an unspecified offense. Samah Hadid, director of campaigns at Amnesty International in the Middle East, has spoken out in support of Loujain al-Hathloul and against what he considers to be a travesty of justice on the part of Saudi Arabian authorities.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities’ continuous harassment of Loujain al-Hathloul is absurd and unjustifiable,” Hadid said. “It appears she is being targeted once again because of her peaceful work as a human rights defender speaking out for women’s rights, which are consistently trammeled in the kingdom. If so she must be immediately and unconditionally released.” Loujain a-Hathloul’s first brush with the Saudi authorities came in 2014 when she broke the kingdom’s ban on women driving cars. She attempted to drive from the neighboring U.A.E. into Saudi Arabia. Detained 73 days for her offense, al-Hathloul was released and went on to stand for election in 2015, the first year in which women were allowed to both vote and run in state-held elections.

“Instead of upholding its promise of a more tolerant Saudi Arabia, the government has again shattered any notion that it is genuinely committed to upholding equality and human rights,” Hadid said. According to sources at Amnesty International, Loujain al-Hathloul will travel to Ridyah today to face interrogation by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution. With no reason given for her re-arrest, Amnesty International surmises the move can only be in relation to her work as a human rights activist. She will be allowed neither a lawyer nor contact with her family before she faces questioning.

Read the full story at Amnesty International.


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