Loujain al-Hathloul

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Loujain al-Hathloul
لجين الهذلول
Loujain Alhathloul.jpg
Born (1989-07-31) 31 July 1989 (age 30)
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia[1]
Known forDefying female driving ban in Saudi Arabia
Spouse(s)married Fahad Albutairi (2014-2018) (husband was pressured into divorce by Saudi regime)[2]

Loujain al-Hathloul (Arabic: لجين الهذلولLujjayn al-Hadhlūl; born 31 July 1989) is a Saudi women's rights activist, a social media figure, and a political prisoner. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia.[3] Al-Hathloul has been arrested and released on several occasions for defying the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia and was arrested in May 2018, with several prominent women's rights activists, on the charge of attempting to destabilise the kingdom. She was ranked third in the list of Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015.[4][5][6][7] As of October 2018, her husband, Saudi stand-up comedian Fahad Albutairi, was also under arrest.[8][9]

Women's rights activism (2014–2017)[edit]

Al-Hathloul is known both for her role in the women to drive movement and in opposing the Saudi male guardianship system.[10] On 1 December 2014, she was arrested and detained for 73 days after an attempt to cross the border in her car from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Saudi Arabia on charges related to defying the female driving ban in the kingdom.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18] She has a UAE licence but the Saudi police still arrested her.[19]

In September 2016, along with 14,000 others, al-Hathloul signed a petition to King Salman asking for the male guardianship system to be abolished.[10] On 4 June 2017, she was arrested and detained at King Fahad International Airport in Dammam. The reason for the arrest was unclear and al-Hathloul had not,as of June 2017, been allowed access to a lawyer or contact with her family.[20] She was release some time after.

2018–2019 detention and torture[edit]

Loujain Al-Hathloul was kidnapped from UAE in March 2018 and deported to Saudi Arabia where she was arrested for few days then put under a travel ban. [21] Al-Hathloul was detained again on the eve of 15 May 2018, along with Eman al-Nafjan, Aisha al-Mana, Aziza al-Yousef, Madeha al-Ajroush and some men[22][10][23] involved in campaigning for women's rights in Saudi Arabia.[24][25] Human Rights Watch interpreted the purpose of the arrests as frightening "anyone expressing skepticism about the crown prince's rights agenda".[10][26]

In June 2018, women were granted the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, while al-Hathloul remained under arrest. According to ALQST and Amnesty International, al-Hathloul and several of the other women detained for their women's rights activities were tortured. Torture techniques included being beaten on their feet, given electric shocks, whipped, in a torture location called "the hotel" or "the officer's guesthouse".[27][28] According to Loujain al-Hathloul's sister Alia, (who lives in Brussels, Belgium), torture techniques used specifically against Loujain also included beating, electric shocks and waterboarding, and the torture occurred between May and August 2018. Loujain al-Hathloul's parents stated that Loujain's "thighs were blackened by bruises" when they visited, and that Loujain "was shaking uncontrollably, unable to hold her grip, to walk or sit normally" during their visit.[29] According to Alia al-Hathloul, Saud al-Qahtani visited al-Hathloul during her torture, laughing at her, threatening to rape and kill her and to dispose of her body in the sewage system, and he tortured her "all night during Ramadan".[29] Alia al-Hathloul stated that she had expected that under Saudi norms in relation to women, her sister would not have been tortured.[29]

As of December 2018, al-Hathloul was in jail with her fellow activists at Dhahban Central Prison.[30][31][28] According to her brother Walid al-Hathloul (who lives in Ontario, Canada), al-Hathloul was by February 2019 held in al-Ha'ir Prison.[32]

On 1 March 2019 the office of Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced that the preliminary investigation had been completed and they would be preparing to try al-Hathloul and other activists in court for undermining state security.[33]

On 13 March 2019, the trial began, although the charges were not specified and reporters and diplomats were barred from attending.[34][35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michelle Ghoussoub (29 May 2018). "Incredibly fierce' UBC graduate among activists detained in Saudi Arabia". CBC News. Archived from the original on 30 May 2018. A graduate of the University of British Columbia is among 10 activists recently arrested in Saudi Arabia. Loujain Al-Hathloul attended UBC between 2009 and 2014, graduating with a degree in French. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  2. ^ Nicholas Kristof 2019 "She Wanted to Drive, So Saudi Arabia’s Ruler Imprisoned and Tortured Her" NY Times
  3. ^ Michelle Ghoussoub 2018 Concern grows for UBC grad after report Saudi Arabia tortured activists CBC News
  4. ^ "The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015". ArabianBusiness.com. 4 March 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  5. ^ "Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi and Amal Clooney named most powerful Arab women in the world". The Independent. 4 March 2015. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Loujain Al Hathloul, at number three on the list, hit the headlines in December after she was arrested for driving across the border from the UAE to Saudi Arabia. She has now been freed from prison after reigniting the debate about women’s right to drive. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  6. ^ "21 Saudis among 100 most powerful Arab women". Arab News. 4 March 2015. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. Loujain Al-Hathloul from Saudi Arabia is in third place for her achievements on the cultural and social fronts, while Saudi businesswoman Lubna Olayan came in at fourth for her role in the banking and finance sector. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  7. ^ "From a retail tycoon to Amal Clooney: meet the Arab World's most powerful women". Al-Bawaba. 6 March 2015. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Loujain Al Hathloul, at number three on the list, hit the headlines in December after she was arrested for driving across the border from the UAE to Saudi Arabia. She has now been freed from prison after reigniting the debate about women’s right to drive. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  8. ^ Hubbard, Ben (8 October 2018). "'Our Hands Can Reach You': Khashoggi Case Shakes Saudi Dissidents Abroad". Nytimes.com.
  9. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Reveal Fate of Jamal Khashoggi". Human Rights Watch. 11 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d "Saudi Arabia: Women's Rights Advocates Arrested — Jumping Ahead of Crown Prince's Reforms Risks Jail Time". Human Rights Watch. 18 May 2018. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ "Two Saudi Women Who Were Detained for Defying a Driving Ban Have Been Freed". Time magazine. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 29 October 2016. Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysaa al-Amoudi had been held since Dec. 1, after al-Hathloul, 25, attempted to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates, Agence France-Presse reports. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  12. ^ "Saudi Women Free After 73 Days in Jail for Driving". The New York Times. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 27 September 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  13. ^ "Saudi women jailed for driving 'released from prison' after two months". The Independent. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  14. ^ "Saudi Arabia Releases Two Women Drivers From Jail". The Wall Street Journal. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  15. ^ "Saudi women drivers 'freed from jail'". BBC News. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  16. ^ "Saudi women's rights campaigners 'freed from prison'". Daily Mail. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 1 June 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  17. ^ "Women who defied Saudi Arabia's driving ban freed after months in jail". Mashable. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 6 October 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  18. ^ "Saudi women who defied driving ban 'freed from jail'". France 24. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  19. ^ Brian Murphy 2015 Once jailed for defying a driving ban, this Saudi woman is now standing for office Sydney Morning Herald
  20. ^ Mortimer, Caroline (8 June 2017). "Saudi Arabia jails human rights activist who defied women's driving ban". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017.
  21. ^ https://raseef22.com/article/1072479-loujain-al-hathloul-deserves-her-freedom-they-all-deserve-freedom
  22. ^ "Female activists detained ahead of Saudi driving ban reversal". The National. 20 May 2018. Archived from the original on 5 June 2018. Some state-linked media outlets published the names of those detained, which include Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef and Eman al-Najfan. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  23. ^ Sarah El Sirgany, Hilary Clarke (21 May 2018). "Saudi Arabia arrests female activists weeks before lifting of driving ban". CNN. Archived from the original on 21 May 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2018. Activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef and Aisha Almane were arrested last week, along with four male supporters, the government and Saudi media said Friday. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  24. ^ Batrawy, Aya. "Six women's driving advocates in Saudi Arabia arrested". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2018-06-05. Retrieved 19 May 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  25. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Chilling smear campaign against women's rights defenders". Amnesty International. Archived from the original on 5 June 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Invalid |deadurl=No (help)
  26. ^ "Saudi Arabia 'arrests women's rights activists'". Al Jazeera English. 19 May 2018. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  27. ^ "ALQST Confirms New Details of Torture of Saudi Women Activists as British MPs Seek Access to Prisons to Investigate". ALQST. 3 January 2019. Archived from the original on 12 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. ^ a b "Saudi Arabia: Reports of torture and sexual harassment of detained activists". Amnesty.org. Amnesty International. Archived from the original on 12 January 2019. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  29. ^ a b c al-Hathloul, Alia (13 January 2019). "My Sister Is in a Saudi Prison. Will Mike Pompeo Stay Silent?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  30. ^ "Saudi women can now drive — but activists jailed". ABC News. 24 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  31. ^ "Saudi driving ban ends as women's rights activists remain jailed". Aljazeera.com. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  32. ^ "Brother of Saudi woman 'being tortured in prison' fears her treatment is getting worse". The Independent. 22 February 2019.
  33. ^ Hubbard, Ben (2 March 2019). "Saudi Arabia Moves Toward Trials of Women's Rights Activists". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  34. ^ Oppenheim, Maya (13 March 2019). "Saudi women's rights campaigner who has been 'tortured and sexually harassed in prison' goes on trial". The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  35. ^ "Saudi women's rights activists go on trial in Riyadh". The Guardian. Reuters. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  36. ^ "Alqst and Over 160 groups call for accountability following murder of journalist and widespread arrest of women's rights defenders". ALQST. 26 October 2018. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  37. ^ von Hein, Matthias (10 August 2017). "Is Saudi Arabia waging war on its Shiite minority?". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  38. ^ Brennan, David (21 August 2018). "Who Is Israa al-Ghomgham? Female Saudi Activist May Be Beheaded After Death Sentence". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]