Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul contender for Nobel Peace Prize
09 October 2019 | 3:21 pm
Jailed Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize after being put forward by group of Norwegian and Canadian politicians.
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In this edition, we turn our attention to Saudi Arabia, which this week hosted the Women 20 (W20) online summit, attended by some of the most powerful women from across the globe. However, there were also many missing faces. Among them were some of the conservative kingdom's most prominent activists, like Loujain al-Hathloul (pictured). According to rights groups, some of these women have faced abuse while imprisoned, including electric shocks, flogging and sexual assault. For more on this story, we speak to Hiba Zayadin, a Gulf researcher at Human Rights Watch.
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A Saudi anti-terrorism court has jailed Loujain al-Hathloul for five years and eight months, local media have reported. Her brother slammed the process as a "sham trial."
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A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Hathloul was arrested just before the ban on female driving was lifted. She had also protested against the male guardianship system, in which women have limited rights without male consent.
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As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, Loujain al-Hathloul was a threat to national security. Some believe the new US administration under Joe Biden had a hand in her release.
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The rights activist has championed women's right to drive and for an end to Saudi's male guardianship system. She had hoped the court would amend her sentence.
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