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US Congress calls for information on detained Saudi activist Loujain Al-Hathloul

Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul [AFP via Getty Images]
Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul [AFP via Getty Images]

US Congress called on Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to provide information on the status of Saudi women’s rights activist, Loujain Al-Hathloul, who has been detained in Riyadh for more than two years.

“Al-Hathloul has been detained without trial since May 2018. Her trial has been repeatedly delayed without explanation, nor has the evidence of her supposed crimes been described,” the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff, told Saudi Ambassador to the US Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan, in an official letter.

He added that Al-Hathloul was being held for long periods without contact with her family, noting that she was subjected to: “Physical and mental torture while in prison as well as threats of rape and murder.”

“I request an update on Al-Hathloul’s condition,” Schiff asserted, reiterating his: “Concerns about her welfare and the well-being of other women’s rights advocates in Saudi Arabia.”

The US official stressed that Riyadh’s failure to address these concerns would be: “A factor in decisions that Congress make regarding future US cooperation with and support for the kingdom.”

On 9 June, Al-Hathloul’s sister Alia disclosed that Al-Hathloul had contacted her family “after a very long time”.

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