GIDHR to Saudi Authorities: Don’t Delay the Release of Loujain AlHathloul & all Prisoners of Conscience


10/02/2021 – Loujain AlHathloul is supposed to be released tomorrow 11 February 2021, after spending more than 1000 days behind bars in which she was subjected to various forms of torture and ill-treatment. According to the information, Saud al-Qahtani the former royal court advisor and top aide for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had supervised and participated in torturing Loujain. She was not only subjected to beatings, electric shocks, or extinguishing cigarettes in her body, but also, she was sexually harassed and threatened to be raped then killed.

The Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) calls on the Saudi authorities to not delay the potential release of AlHathloul, drop all the fabricated charges, grant her full and unconditional freedom, and release all the political detainees and prisoners of conscience. We also urge them to enhance the situation of human rights in the country and put an end to all the violations which are committed on daily basis.

From her side, Fatima Yazbek, the head of Studies and Reports at GIDHR, commented: “We hope to see Loujain released tomorrow, as was mentioned in the judicial decision. We call on the Saudi authorities to release all the prisoners of conscience held behind bars, especially the female detainees who are subjected to enforced disappearance.”
“In addition, we demand that the authorities restore their good reputation following the smear and defamation campaigns against them. We also demand that the torture complaints of Loujain and other prisoners of conscience be seriously investigated, in preparation to prosecute the perpetrators and instigators of these violations,” she added.

Loujain AlHathloul, a Saudi activist who was repeatedly arrested for demanding the rights of Saudi women. Her last arrest was on 18 May 2018, in which she was subjected to various physical and mental torture, with the supervision and participation of , Saud al-Qahtani the former royal court advisor and top aide for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Loujain’s trial began in March 2019, and in 28 December 2020, the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh sentenced her to 5 years and 8 months imprisonment (from the day of her arrest), suspended 2 years and 10 months of her sentence, and banned her from leaving the country for another 5 years.