Saudi women’s rights activist who pushed to end driving ban released from jail

The Daily Star’s FREE newsletter is spectacular! Sign up today for the best stories straight to your inbox

A prominent women’s rights activist in Saudia Arabia has been released from jail after three years.

Loujain al-Hathloul, 31, played a key role in the movement to allow women to drive in the kingdom.

She was arrested in 2018, just weeks before the driving ban was lifted and moved to prison.

Last December she was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison, with two years and 10 months suspended.

Charges against her include seeking to change the Saudi political system and harming national security.

Her sister Lina announced on Twitter on Wednesday she had been released after 1,001 days behind bars.

She shared a screenshot of her sister on a family video call, adding: “Loujain is at home !!!!!!”

Ms Hathloul was among at least a dozen other women's rights activists arrested in 2018, who were tarred by Saudi media as traitors.

Rights groups say at least three of the women, including Hathloul, were held in solitary confinement for months.

They were said to have been subjected to abuse including electric shocks, flogging and sexual assault.

  • Humanity could soon face new deadly pandemic ‘on the scale of the Black Death’

Saudi authorities have denied torture allegations.

Following her release, her family warned she is "not free" and will face numerous restrictions while on probation, which includes a five-year travel ban.

Her sister wrote: “Thank you to each and every one of you who have been supporting us these 1001 days.

“Loujain is at home, but she is not free. The fight is not over.

“I am not fully happy without the release of all political prisoners.”

Ms Hathloul rose to prominence in 2013 when she began publicly campaigning for women's right to drive in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at the Pentagon, US President Joe Biden said: “I have some welcome news that the Saudi government has released a prominent human rights activist.

"She was a powerful activist for women''s rights and releasing her was the right thing to do.”

  • Family
  • Saudi Arabia

Source: Read Full Article