Saudi activist Loujain Al-Hathloul appears before a court in Riyadh


On Tuesday, the Saudi activist, Loujain Al-Hathloul, appeared before a court in Riyadh for the first time since her conditional release on February 11 after spending nearly three years in prison.

At the end of last December, a court in Riyadh ordered Al-Hathloul to be imprisoned for five years and eight months after convicting her on charges of inciting regime change and “serving foreign parties”, and attached the verdict to suspend its implementation for a period of two years and ten months. She was released on the tenth of February.

However, she remains subject to parole for three years, and she cannot leave the kingdom for five years.

According to her family, the 31-year-old activist has appealed the ruling against her and the restrictions imposed on her and her parents, and will appear in court again on March 10.

“Today is the first time that Jane has appeared with her hands undocumented and without being blindfolded,” her family said in a statement.

According to the statement, the prosecution requested the tightening of the ruling and the revocation of the stay of execution.

The statement added that “her sentence includes many restrictions, including a pledge that Jane was forced to sign in order to be released, under which she cannot speak publicly about her trial, disclose details about prison, or even celebrate her release publicly.”

Her parents have been banned from traveling outside Saudi Arabia since 2018, although they are not accused of any crime, according to family members living abroad.

For its part, Amnesty International said before the hearing, on Twitter that Loujain “should be free without any conditions” to travel.

Al-Hathloul, 31, was arrested with other human rights activists in a campaign of arrests in May 2018, a few weeks before the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia was lifted, which the activist was urgently demanding, which sparked international condemnation.

Her conditional release came as Saudi Arabia faces criticism from US President Joe Biden’s administration regarding respect for human rights.

Al-Hathloul’s trial began in March 2019, nearly a year after her arrest. While some of the activists who have been arrested with Loujain during the last two years have been temporarily released, others are still in prison.


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