On Monday, December 28, a Saudi court sentenced Loujain al-Hathloul to five years and eight months in jail.

Hathloul is a well-known women’s rights activist who is 31-years-old.

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Conviction and 5yrs 8 month sentence handed down to prominent women’s rights campaigner #LoujainAlHathloul, already arbitrarily detained for 2 ½ years, is also deeply troubling.

United Nations Human Rights 

According to the National Post, she was arrested along with several other activists in 2018 and has been held since. Her family lives in Canada, where she also lived for five years while attending the University of British Columbia.

UN Human Rights tweeted, announcing the arrest and saying “We understand early release is possible, and strongly encourage it as matter of urgency.”

Hathloul's sister also tweeted the news, adding that her sister would additionally be subject to a five-year travel ban. 

"Loujain cried when she heard the sentence today. After nearly 3 years of arbitrary detention, torture, solitary confinement - they now sentence her and label her a terrorist. Loujain will appeal the sentence and ask for another investigation regarding torture #FreeLoujain," said another tweet by the activist's sister. 

According to the National Post, Hathloul fought for Saudi women’s right to drive.

Apparently, diplomats have said that the arrest sends a message that Saudi Arabia won’t back down in the face of pressure about human rights issues.

The National Post reports that Loujain al-Hathloul’s charges included “seeking to change the Saudi political system, calling for an end to male guardianship, attempting to apply for a U.N. job, attending digital privacy training, communicating with international rights groups and other Saudi activists.”

 
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