Saudi Court Upholds Sentence of Activist Loujain al-Hathloul
The original sentence of prominent Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul was upheld by a Saudi appeals court. The decision announced on Wednesday means that Hathloul, who was released last month after three years in prison, will remain under a travel ban that prohibits her from leaving the country for the next five years.
Hathloul, 31, and 10 other female activists were arrested in May 2018 as part of a sweeping crackdown on women campaigning for the right to drive. Weeks after her arrest Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on women driving. She said she was subject to physical, sexual and psychological abuse in prison. The Saudi government denies the reports of torture. She was sentenced in December to nearly six years in prison for contacts with foreign diplomats, media, and activist groups, but the court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence, most of which had already been served.
Her sister Lina tweeted on Wednesday: “UPDATE: The judges confirmed the first sentencing of @LoujainHathloul, which means SA confirms considering the UK, the EU, and the Netherlands ‘terrorist entities’ and contacting them a ‘terrorist act’. #FreeLoujain.”