Urgent Action Update: Women Activists on Trial (Saudi Arabia: UA 105.18)

On 13 March 2019, 11 women activists were brought to trial at the Criminal Court in Riyadh after being detained without charge since May 2018. The women were charged with contacting international organizations, including Amnesty International, foreign media and other activists. Some of the women were also charged with promoting women’s rights and calling for the end of the male guardianship system. The activists have had no access to their lawyers throughout their detention. Amnesty calls on the Saudi authorities to drop these charges and release the women activists, and others who remain detained without charge, immediately and unconditionally.



  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 105.18. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
Office of His Majesty the King
Royal Court, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 11 403 3125
Ambassador Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: 202 342 3800
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2KScqag
Twitter: @SaudiEmbassyUSA
Salutation: Your Royal Highness

Your Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud,

Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Amal al-Harbi, Dr. Ruqayyah al-Mharib, Nouf Abdulaziz, Maya’a al-Zahrani, Shadan al-Anezi, Dr. Abir Namankni, Dr. Hatoon al-Fassi and another woman are among a group of Saudi Arabian activists who were detained following a sweeping wave of arrests since May 2018. Many of the women activists brought to trial have campaigned against the long-standing ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, and for the end of the male guardianship system. On 13 March 2019, several of the women activists were charged with contacting international organizations, including Amnesty International, journalists and other activists. 

Up until the first trial session on 13 March, the women activists remained in detention without charge. They were detained incommunicado with no access to their families or lawyers during the first three months of their detention. Several women were subjected to sexual violence and other forms of torture and ill-treatment.

I urge you to drop all charges against all 11 women activists, and to release them immediately and unconditionally, as they are prisoners of conscience, solely detained for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association. I also urge you to allow all those detained to access their lawyers, and to allow independent monitors into the prisons to investigate allegations of torture and other ill-treatment including sexual abuse.   

Yours sincerely,