A Saudi human rights group yesterday announced that Loujain Al-Hathloul has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Al-Hathloul has been detained in the Kingdom for two years.
Prisoners of Conscience, a rights organisation that covers the latest news about political prisoners in Saudi Arabia, added that Al-Hathloul's sisters, Alia and Lina, received the Freedom Prize from an international rights committee in France recently on behalf of their sister "in appreciation of [Loujain's] human rights efforts".
According to the Nobel Prize website, this year's winners will be announced between 5 and 12 October. There are 318 nominees for the 2020 Peace Prize. With 211 individuals and 107 organisations it is the fourth highest number of candidates ever. In 2016, there were a total of 376.
Al-Hathloul, 29, was detained in May 2018 in an unprecedented crackdown against women's rights activists. A senior aide of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman apparently oversaw her interrogation. Saud Al-Qahtani is said to have used waterboarding and threats to rape and kill the activist.
Riyadh faces international criticism regarding the lack of freedom of expression and human rights, but has affirmed repeatedly its commitment to "implementing the law with transparency". Critics point out that if the law itself is unjust, then this commitment has no real meaning.