Amnesty International has called for solidarity with female Saudi activists detained by the authorities for over three months without charges or trial.
The organisation asked activists around the world to appeal to the Saudi authorities via Twitter for the immediate and unconditional release of the activists, to reveal where they are being detained, ensure that they are allowed to contact their families and lawyers without delay and to protect them against torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
The organisation also recommended to appeals be sent to the Saudi king and justice minister regarding the matter.
Amnesty said the Saudi authorities continue to detain activists who had defended the women’s right to drive: Loujain Al-Hathloul, Eman Al-Nafjan and Aziza Al-Yousef, for more than 100 days without trial or charges.
Two more activists, Samar Badawi and Nassima Al-Sadah, were also detained earlier this month.
Local media has accused Al-Hathloul, Al-Nafjan and Al-Yousef of forming a “cell” which posed a threat to state security because of their “contact with foreign entities with the aim of undermining the country’s stability and social fabric”.
“Amnesty International is concerned that if they are charged, they may face up to 20 years in prison, so now is the time to act and defend these courageous activists, who are considered to be the most prominent advocates of the human rights movement in Saudi Arabia.”
“Although the world has praised the Saudi government for recent reforms; including lifting the ban on women driving; we must be aware of the risk of imprisoning women activists who have worked tirelessly for years for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia,” it added.