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Public Prosecutor requests maximum sentence for Loujain Al-Hathloul

December 18, 2020 at 3:52 pm

Saudi activist Loujain Al-Hathloul [AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Public Prosecutor on Wednesday demanded the maximum prison sentence possible for women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul, in the latest development in her trial before the terrorism court.

Al-Hathloul’s sister, Lina, took to Twitter to announce that the prosecutor is demanding a 20-year sentence for her sister.

The British newspaper the Guardian also confirmed the news, adding that the judge said the verdict may be issued as early as Monday.

Al-Hathloul’s parents, who are advocating as legal counsels for their detained daughter, were summoned by the Riyadh Criminal Court yesterday morning. It is not clear what this development means for Al-Hathloul’s case, which was transferred from the criminal court to the terrorism court last month.

On her sister’s detention, Lina said: “All she did was demanding the treatment of women with the dignity and freedom they have the right to enjoy. For this, the Saudi authorities seek the maximum penalty, 20 years in prison.”

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She added: “They say she is a terrorist … In fact she is a human rights defender, an activist, and a woman who simply wants a better, more just world.”

Al-Hathloul was arrested along with about a dozen other female activists in May 2018, just weeks before Saudi Arabia lifted a decades-old ban on female drivers. She went on a hunger strike in October for several weeks to protest against her prison conditions. A report realised earlier this month alleged that she was amongst a number of female activists that were being tortured and forced to carry out “sex acts” while in detention.