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26 August 2018 - 21:07
News ID: 439222
Rasa - Amnesty International voiced concern about the situation of detained female Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul amid rising speculations that the kingdom may start to execute its jailed women rights campaigners.
A Saudi Arabian executioner shows off his sword.

RNA - Al-Hathloul was detained back in May during an arrest spree by the kingdom of its female rights activists, World News reported.


"​To be honest, with every day that goes by our concern for the well-being of Loujain increases," Jackie Hansen with the UK-based rights group’s Canada chapter said.


"Saudi Arabia has now escalated the situation by continuing to detain additional women human rights defenders," she added.


Hathoul, already known as one of the most outspoken female critics of the kingdom’s human rights record, was first arrested in 2014 over charges of violating a Saudi law that banned women from driving after she tried to cross the border in her car from the UAE to Saudi Arabia.


Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has announced that Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor is seeking to impose the death penalty against five other human rights activists from the kingdom's Eastern Province.


The activists are on trial at a “terrorism court”.


Amnesty International has also Responded to reports that Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for five individuals, including Israa al-Ghomgham - who would be the first woman ever to face the death penalty simply for participating in protests - urging Riyadh to drop the plan immediately.


Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, stated that “Israa al-Ghomgam and four other individuals are now facing the most appalling possible punishment simply for their involvement in anti-government protests. We are urging the Saudi Arabian authorities to drop these plans immediately", according to Amnesty website.


“Sentencing Israa al-Ghomgam to death would send a horrifying message that other activists could be targeted in the same way for their peaceful protest and human rights activism," she said.


"The charges against Israa al-Ghomgam, which mostly relate to her peaceful participation in protests, are absurd and clearly politically motivated to silence dissent in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia," she added.


Israa al-Ghomgham from the Qatif region in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province has been behind bars for 32 months. She recently appeared in the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) in the capital, Riyadh. The public prosecutor called for death penalty for six defendants, including Ghomgham and her husband Moussa al-Hashem, who were arrested in a house raid by Saudi regime forces in December 2015.


“Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific executioners and the world cannot continue to ignore the country’s horrific human rights record. We call on the international community to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian authorities to end the use of the death penalty, which continues to be employed in violation of international human rights law and standards, often after grossly unfair and politically motivated trials,” she stressed.


Riyadh has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners. Saudi officials have also intensified security measures in the Shia-populated and oil-rich Eastern Province.



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