Activists Support Loujain Hathloul as Saudi Trial for 'Terrorism' Looms

Published March 13th, 2019 - 02:58 GMT
Photo created by Amnesty International shows four of the detained Saudi activists that are currently being tortured in Saudi prisons. (Credit: Amnesty International)
Photo created by Amnesty International shows four of the detained Saudi activists that are currently being tortured in Saudi prisons. (Credit: Amnesty International)

Loujain Hathloul and other Saudi activists have been today facing trial after spending around 10 months in prison.

On Sunday, Loujain’s brother went to Twitter to announce they were informed that his sister, who is not allowed to have a lawyer, will be put on trial on Wednesday at the specialized court that deals with terrorism cases in Riyadh.

On Wednesday and half an hour before the trial, Loujain’s family were informed of a court change and the trial will take place in the Criminal Court in Riyadh.

The news has raised controversy among human rights activists.

According to Ali Adubaisi, Director of the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, changing the court from the Specialized to the Criminal court came as a response to the pressure that Saudi Arabia has been facing from the international society for dealing with Loujain and the other activists as terrorists.

Translation: “As a result of the local and international pressure and after the scandal of dealing with Loujain as a terrorist, Saudi Arabia changes the court of one of the prisoners from the Specialized court for the first time in 8 years. Putting Loujain and other activists to trial in the criminal court is persistence to deal with them as criminals and this won’t stop the outrage and [we will] keep demanding their freedom.”

On hashtags #معاك_يالجين #WeAreWithLoujain, Twitter users went to express their support with Loujain and the other activists who were arrested for demanding womens rights in the Kingdom; including lifting the ban on women driving, which was lifted after detaining them.

After around six hours after the start of the trial, Loujain’s brother posted on Twitter to say the trial ended and details will be provided later.

Translation: “The first session of Loujain’s trial has ended. Details will be provided once it’s possible.”

Loujain Hathloul is one of a dozen of Saudi human and women rights activists who were detained in May 2018. Reports released during the past few months confirmed Loujain and many other activists were tortured, sexually harassed and threatened to rape and death.

Loujain Hathloul’s story, besides stories of other activists in Saudi arbitrary detention, have been catching the international media attention, particularly after her sister wrote an op-ed published by the New York Times detailing horrifying details on her sister’s arbitrary detention and torture.

Also, Twitter’s suspension of her father’s account after he tweeted about the sexual harassment and torture his daughter faced in prison has helped in shedding more lights on her story in the media.


Read More: Loujain Hathloul's Sister Writes for First Time Revealing Horrifying Details on Loujain's Torture
Twitter Suspends Account of Loujain Hathloul's Father After Tweeting About Her Torture and Sexual Abuse

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