Saudi Arabia releases two prominent women’s rights activists Human Rights News


Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah were arrested in August 2018 as part of a government crackdown on dissent.

A human rights group has confirmed that Saudi Arabia has released two prominent women rights activists detained for nearly three years.

“Human rights defenders Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah have been released after the expiration of the sentences against them,” ALQST for Human Rights said on Sunday.

Activists were arrested in August 2018 as part of a government crackdown on peaceful dissent.

Most inmates, it is estimated that they are in the dozens, campaigned for the right to drive and the end of the kingdom’s male guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male relative for important decisions.

Badawi received the International Women of Courage Award from the United States in 2012 for challenging the guardianship system and was one of the first women to sign a petition to ask the government to allow women to drive, vote and run for office. local elections.

She is also the sister of Raif Badawi, a prominent human rights defender, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2014 on charges of “insulting Islam” on his blog.

Al-Sadah, in the predominantly Shiite province of Qatif, has also campaigned for the right to drive and abolish the guardianship system. She ran in the 2015 local elections, which saw women run in the elections for the first time.

His name was eventually removed by the authorities.

Some of the women’s rights activists arrested in 2018 include Eman al-Nafjan, Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Aisha al-Manea, Ibrahim Modeimigh and Mohammed al-Rabea.

Although authorities overturned the ban on women driving for decades, Saudi authorities justified the arrests by saying the activists had suspicious contacts with foreign entities and offered financial support to “overseas enemies.”

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