Loujain al-Hathloul: Saudi activist’s trial ‘moved to terrorism court’

WC Desk:

Loujain al-Hathloul
Loujain al-Hathloul was prominent in the campaign to win the right for Saudi women to drive PC: Reuters

The family of the jailed Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul says her trial has been transferred to a terrorism tribunal.

Ms Hathloul’s sister Lina had expressed hope that she would be freed when the trial resumed in Riyadh on Wednesday.

But she said their parents had now been informed that the case would be heard by the Specialised Criminal Court.

Ms Hathloul and 12 other activists are accused of conspiring with foreign organisations hostile to the kingdom.

They were arrested in May 2018, weeks before King Salman lifted a ban on women driving that they had campaigned against for years.

Last weekend’s G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia was overshadowed by calls from international human rights groups to free the women and other imprisoned critics of the government.

The kingdom rejected the calls, saying it would not allow people to lecture it.

The 31-year-old first came to prominence as a campaigner for women’s right to drive in the kingdom.

Saudi officials insist her detention has nothing to do with that issue. They say the charges she faces are related to her contacts with foreign diplomats, media, and activist groups.

Ms Hathloul’s family say she was held incommunicado for three months following her arrest, and that she was subjected to electric shocks, whippings, and sexual harassment. They also allege that that she was offered freedom if she agreed to say she was not tortured.

The Saudi government denies the allegations of torture.

Excerpt from BBC. To read the full article, Click Here.

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