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Saudi puts detained female activist in solitary confinement

Saudi activist Nasima Al-Sada [Twitter]
Saudi activist Nasima Al-Sada [Twitter]

Saudi Arabian authorities have transferred detained human rights activist Nasima Al-Sada to solitary confinement.

Writing on Twitter, Prisoners of Conscience – which reports on political prisoners in Saudi Arabia – explained that Al-Sada has been detained since August 2018 for defending human and women rights in the kingdom. She has since been subjected to a smear campaign by Saudi media outlets, which accuse her of "espionage".

Al-Sada is co-founder of the Centre for Justice for Human Rights, which did not succeed in obtaining a permit to work in Saudi Arabia. She has also campaigned to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia and was summoned for questioning several times because of her work.

In 2015, along with fellow human rights activist Lojain Al-Hathloul – who is also detained by the Saudi authorities – Al-Sada registered as a candidate in the first municipal elections in which women were allowed to run for office and vote. Both candidates were disqualified.

A few days ago, the Al-Qst human rights group said that, in May 2018, Saudi authorities launched the most brutal campaign of arrests against female human rights defenders. The organisation said the detained women are beaten, whipped and electrocuted, while three of them bore clear signs of severe torture and bruises around the eyes, trembled and had lost weight.

According to the group, a number of female activists were also sexually harassed, stripped naked and photographed, while at least one of them was subjected to psychological torture by falsely telling her that a member of her family had died.

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