Saudis Sentence Prominent Women’s Rights Activist to 5 Years

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A prominent Saudi female activist, who campaigned for women’s right to drive, has been sentenced to more than five years in prison.

Loujain al-Hathloul has already been in a maximum security prison for two and a half years.

She and other activists were detained in 2018 on charges including contacts with organisations hostile to Saudi Arabia.

International human rights groups have repeatedly called for her release.

But on Monday, the country’s Specialised Criminal Court, which was set up to try terrorism cases, convicted her of various charges including trying to harm national security and advance a foreign agenda.

On 26 September 2017, King Salman had issued an order to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia, with new guidelines to be created and implemented by June 2018.