Feminist Activist Sentenced To Five Years For Endangering National Security

Feminist Activist Sentenced To Five Years For Endangering National Security

Saudi Arabia added to its list of human rights abuses this week with the sentencing of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul.  I have previously written about the inspiring courage and commitment of Saudi feminists, but al-Hathloul is a standout even among that group.  She has tirelessly fought for simple rights like the ability to drive in a kingdom that continues to deprive women, religious minorities, journalists, and others basic protections. She was reportedly tortured by the Saudi government, a signature of the blood-soaked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Now she has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Ms. al-Hathloul is a University of British Columbia graduate who war arrested alongside 10 other women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia in May 2018.

I have long been a critic of the Trump Administration’s alliance with Mohammed bin Salman and its covering up of his murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for the Washington Post. Our protection of the Crown Prince has been a national disgrace.

Yet, the true costs fall on brave activists like al-Hathloul, who refused to yield to the medieval practices of the Kingdom, which continues to rule under a strict Sharia system.  She was charged with damaging the kingdom’s national security and trying to alter its political structure. No charges are more of a self-condemnation of the Kingdom as a fundamentally tyrannical and abusive government.