Free Saudi women’s rights defenders

UPDATE: Saudi authorities keep oppressing women’s rights defenders for their activism against the driving ban and the male guardianship system.

The Saudi Arabian authorities haven’t released Maya, Nouf, Shadan  and Loujain – four women who led the brilliant campaign against repressive laws. Others are temporarily released but under threat.

They are facing prison for their peaceful work and activism fighting against Saudi Arabia’s war on women. 

Eleven women activists were detained in May 2018. Aziza al-Yousef, Iman al-Nafjan, Dr Ruqayyah al-Muharib, Amal al-Harbi, Dr Hatoon al-Fassi, Dr Abir al-Namankani and Maysaa al-Mane’a were temporarily and conditionally released during March and May trial sessions. Maya’a al-Zahrani, Nouf Abdulaziz, Shadan al-Anezi and Loujain al-Hathloul remain detained.

During the first 10 months of their detention they were held without charge. Some of them were tortured, ill-treated, sexually abused and had no access to their families or lawyers for the first three months. Despite telling the Court of this treatment the Public Prosecution has failed to address these allegations.

Saudi media continues to discredit these brave human rights defenders, sharing pictures and identifying them as “traitors”.

These brave women may face up to 20 years in jail for their work on women’s rights.