Politics

Saudi activist fights for women: Five years in prison

And from the point of view of the system particularly reprehensible: You wanted to overturn the system of rule of the authoritarian state.

Her family said that Ludschain had been tortured, including simulated drowning (“waterboarding”), whipping and electric shocks. Al-Hathlul went on hunger strikes twice to protest the conditions of her detention. The court rejected the allegations of torture last week.

The UN human rights office sees this as a “deeply worrying” judgment. Al-Hathlul had been arbitrarily detained for two and a half years. The office supported an early release under suspended sentence as an “urgent matter,” wrote the Geneva-based office on Twitter.

Al-Hathlul’s sister sharply criticized the verdict. “Loujain and my parents (who act as their lawyers) were given little time to prepare, so this process can hardly be understood as fair.” Loujain is “not a terrorist, but an activist”. The condemnation for reforms propagated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the kingdom itself is “ultimate hypocrisy”.

Al-Hathlul is one of the most internationally known activists in Saudi Arabia and was best known for the campaign for an end to the driving ban for women. She was arrested in May 2018 – just before the driving ban was lifted.

The prosecutor had demanded the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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