Saudi woman’s rights activist, Loujain al-Hathloul, was finally released from prison on Wednesday. Hathloul’s extremely vocal advocation in the campaign for women to drive is credited as being influential in the success of the movement. Her imprisonment began just weeks before the lifting of the ban she fought so hard against.
Saudi officials maintain that factors beyond her activism were the reason for Hathloul’s arrest. Instead citing her engaging with foreign diplomats and bodies of media.
Hathloul is currently placed under a travel ban. She is also not permitted to speak with the news outlets. However, she has been in contact with her relatives.
Hathloul’s family demands justice for Hathloul’s cruel imprisonment. Requesting her travel ban be lifted and she be granted reparations for the time she spent imprisoned. They also want the media outlets that discredited Hathloul to be held accountable for their slander.
Saudi officials maintain that Hathloul received no ill-treatment during her imprisonment. However, her sisters shared that Hathloul identified a close former aide of the Saudi crown prince in attendance while she was tortured. Due to the lack of evidence for her accusations of torture, Saudi appeals court dismissed her case.
“What we want now is real justice,” her sister Lina said. “That Loujain is completely, unconditionally free.”
Hathloul’s sister Lina made a call for “real justice”. Warning that even with Loujain’s release it “doesn’t mean women’s rights in Saudi Arabia have improved.”