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Saudi: Family says Loujain Al-Hathloul has been silent for 3 weeks

Saudi women's rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul was imprisoned for defying Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving

June 2, 2020 at 10:01 am

Saudi Arabia must immediately disclose the status of detained activist Loujain Al-Hathloul who has been unable to contact her family for three weeks and banned from visits for more than two months, the Prisoners of Conscience rights group said yesterday.

The calls came after Al-Hathloul’s family said they remain unable to contact her.

“@LinaAlhathloul confirms that her sister @LoujainHathloul did not call the family for the third week in a row, and that visits are denied since March. She adds: “the first period she was held incommunicado was when she was being tortured,” the group wrote on Twitter.

“We demand the Saudi authorities immediately disclose Loujain Al-Hathloul’s situation and health condition by allowing her to communicate with her family, and to release her immediately without delay or preconditions,” the activists added.

READ: Amnesty calls on Saudi Arabia to unconditionally release female human rights defenders

“The continued denial of the activist’s right to communicate is legally unacceptable, and we should not forget that her arrest is also invalid, and the crime of torturing her brutally will not be overlooked,” the tweet continued.

On Sunday, Loujain’s sister Lina wrote on Twitter: “Loujain did not call this week. This is the 3rd week in a row. Visits are forbidden since mid March. I’m worried. First period she was held incommunicado was when she was being tortured.”

It was not possible to obtain an immediate comment from the Saudi authorities on this complaint, but the Kingdom usually denies any failure to care for detainees in its prisons.

On 15 May 2018, Saudi authorities arrested a number of prominent human rights activists, most notably Loujain Al-Hathloul, Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sadah, Nouf Abdulaziz and Mayya Al-Zahrani.

Reports at the time attributed the reasons for the arrest to their defence of women’s rights in the Kingdom.