Urgent Action: Saudi Women’s Rights Activist Unfairly Tried (Saudi Arabia: UA 13.21)
February 5, 2021
Saudi woman human rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul was sentenced to a prison term of five years and eight months on 28 December 2020 following a deeply unfair trial by the Specialized Criminal Court. She was convicted for defending women’s right to drive and calling for an end to the patriarchal male guardianship system. Loujain al-Hathloul, a prisoner of conscience, has appealed the sentence. Amnesty International urges Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release her and ensure her conviction is quashed.
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His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Office of His Majesty the King
Royal Court, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 11 403 3125
Ambassador Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: 202 342 3800
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2KScqag
Salutation: Your Royal Highness
Your Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud,
On 28 December 2020, Saudi woman human rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison by the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC). She was convicted of “spying with foreign parties” and “conspiring against the kingdom” for promoting women’s rights and calling for the end of the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia.
The Court has suspended 2 years and 10 months of Loujain al-Hathloul’s term and has included the time she has already served in detention since May 2018, which makes March 2021 the projected time for her release. However, given the unjust charges against her and the grossly unfair trial by the SCC, Loujain al-Hathloul has appealed the sentence while she continues to be locked up in her prison cell amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In November 2020, Loujain al-Hathloul’s case was transferred from the Criminal Court in Riyadh, where she had been on trial since March 2019, to the SCC on national security grounds. The SCC, a special counter-terror court, has been routinely used by the authorities to silence peaceful dissent.
I urge you to release Loujain al-Hathloul immediately and unconditionally and ensure her conviction and sentence are quashed as she is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression. I also urge you to ensure Loujain al-Hathloul’s freedom of movement and travel following her release.