Country: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia must Free Women’s Rights Defenders

Almost a year has passed since the detention of prominent women’s rights activists and leading campaigners for the lifting of the driving ban. Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Samar Badawi, and Nassima al-Sada all are defenders of woman’s rights that got arrested in May 2018,

Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Youssef are accused of forming a “cell,” posing a threat to state security due to their contact with foreign entities that are undermining the country’s stability.

The concerns are that if these brave human rights defendants are charged, they could be facing up to 20 years in prison. Now is the time to take action and defend these brave activists, whom are some of the most prominent heroines of the human rights movement in Saudi Arabia.

In second week of March 2019 the Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution made an announcement that the investigations into the cases of these human rights defenders, and women activists, whom were detained without charge since May 2018, is concluded and that soon they will be facing charges.

The charges listed by the prosecutor are the same as those the prosecution said several women human rights defenders confessed to last year. At least 10 human rights defenders, including several of the women activists

After they were tortured, sexually abused, and subjected to other forms of ill-treatment as well as being incommunicado with no access to their lawyer or family during their detention last year. The prosecutor said the human rights defenders confessed to their accused crimes of last year, and the investigation is complete. Which soon they will be referred to court and face their charges.

ICHR strongly calls on Saudi Arabia for the imminent release of these imprisoned defenders who have fought tirelessly for women’s rights.