Saudi women human rights defender Loujain al-Hathloul has been sentenced by the Specialised Criminal Court, handling terrorism cases, to five years and eight months in prison, much of it spent in pre-trial detention. The EU regrets this, especially as she was prosecuted for advocating basic women’s rights, which are part of the very reforms the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been introducing.
The EU understands that the ruling entails the suspension of part of the sentence, opening the possibility of an early release. The EU looks forward to this happening soon, having generally encouraged the release of all Saudi Women Human Rights Defenders.
Throughout Ms Al Hathloul’s prolonged detention, the EU, including through its Special Representative for Human Rights, has raised her case and cases of others, bilaterally with Saudi authorities as well as in multilateral human rights fora.
The EU wishes to continue and strengthen its engagement on human rights with Saudi Arabia.