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Saudi Women’s Rights Activist Sentenced to 5 years, 8 Months in Prison
Loujain al-Hathloul is languishing in a Saudi jail after being arrested for driving a vehicle. (Wikimedia Commons)

Saudi Women’s Rights Activist Sentenced to 5 years, 8 Months in Prison

A Saudi court that specializes in handling terrorism cases sentenced well-known women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul to five years and eight months in prison, according to reports citing local media. She was found guilty on Monday on charges including agitating for change, pursuing a foreign agenda and using the internet to harm public order, Al Jazeera reported.

The court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence, which amounts to the time served since 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 reportedly has been subject to physical and psychological abuse in prison. The Saudi government denies the reports of torture.

She also was charged with having contacts with foreign diplomats, journalists, and activist groups. Her imprisonment has led to condemnation from rights groups, and from lawmakers in the United States and Europe.

Hathloul has 30 days to appeal the verdict.

 

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