Otago Daily Times
Women’s rights activist released
DUBAI: Prominent women’s rights activist Loujain alHathloul has been released from a Saudi prison after nearly three years behind bars, her family said yesterday.
Her case has drawn international condemnation.
Hathloul (31) was detained in May 2018 and sentenced that December to nearly six years in prison on charges that United Nations rights experts called ‘‘spurious’’ under broad counterterrorism laws. The court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence, most of which had already been served. She still faces a fiveyear travel ban.
‘‘Loujain is at home !!!!!! ’’ her sister Lina tweeted.
Rights groups say Hathloul, who campaigned for women’s right to drive and to end Saudi’s male guardianship system, was subjected to abuse including electric shocks, waterboarding, flogging and sexual assault.
Saudi authorities deny the accusations; an appeals court dismissed the torture claims, citing a lack of evidence.
Amnesty International yesterday urged Riyadh to bring to justice ‘‘those responsible for her torture’’.
Saudi officials have not commented on her conviction, sentencing or release. — Reuters