Saudi Arabia jails leading women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul

The charges included agitating for change, implementing a foreign agenda, and using the internet to harm public order.


A Saudi court has sentenced women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul to five years and eight months in prison.

(Faisal Nasser/Reuters)

The jail term comes despite pressure from global organizations and human rights groups to release her.

According to the Saudi media, Al-Hathloul was convicted of “various activities prohibited by the anti-terrorism law.”

The charges included agitating for change, implementing a foreign agenda, and using the internet to harm public order.

Two years and ten months of her sentence were suspended.

Who is Loujain al-Hathloul?


Who is Loujain al-Hathloul? UBC grad, women's rights activist jailed in Saudi Arabia |

Loujain Al-Hathloul, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 and 2020, was taken into custody in May 2018, along with a dozen other women activists.

The activists were arrested just before Saudi Arabia lifted its decadeslong ban on female drivers.

Most of the activists had been campaigning for the right to drive. They are accused of terrorism-related charges.

UN experts have labeled the charges against al-Hathloul as “spurious.”

Elizabeth Broderick, the head of the UN working group on discrimination against women, has called for al-Hathloul’s immediate release.

The UN official said the activist was on trial “for exercising her fundamental rights to freedom of expression, disciplined assembly, and association.”

Al-Hathloul’s case was shifted to the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) last month.

Her parents, Fatima and Abdullah, who act as al-Hathloul’s legal representatives, have been banned from traveling abroad since March 2018.

As international reporters, press, and diplomats were not allowed at the court hearings, social media has become the leading platform for drawing attention to her plight.

“It’s a nerve-wracking trial,” her younger sister Lina Al-Hathloul told DW before the verdict.

Earlier this month, the Human Rights Watch said the Saudi government was rushing through her trial.

The rights group has earlier criticized the SCC for silencing government critics by holding unfair trials and handing over long jail terms.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • western media is very active to highlight this type of sympathy for these types of western agenda individuals. but why this media is not giving the same level of support to KASHMIR and PALESTINE? this is the Hypocrisy of west

  • Featured Content⭐