Human rights and solidarity activists have been interacting with an international campaign aimed at pressuring the Saudi authorities to release activists detained in their prisons for years against the background of freedom of opinion and expression and calling for the rights of Saudi women.
Those from various countries of the world participate through the hashtag #StandWithSaudiHeroes, and they contribute to publishing videos, photos and human rights banners that reveal Saudi crimes against women detainees against the background of freedom of opinion and expression.
They renewed their interaction with the international campaign to coincide with the anniversary of the arrest of a number of women human rights activists.
The Saudi security services carried out a massive campaign of arrests on May 15, 2018, against a number of prominent Saudi human rights activists.
According to Amnesty International, at least ten women activists were subjected to human rights violations while in prison, including torture and sexual assault, and other ill-treatment.
During the first three months of their detention, they were held incommunicado without access to family or lawyers. Many of them were also subjected to prolonged solitary confinement.
The family of the activist, Lujain Al-Hathloul, recently disclosed that she had lost contact with her for the third consecutive weeks, and that visits had been banned for more than two months.
Amnesty International called on the Saudi authorities to release the Saudi female activists detained in the Kingdom’s prisons on the grounds of freedom of opinion and expression.
“It is sad that two years have passed now, and these brave women are still behind bars, especially since Saudi women during this period enjoy some of the new rights for which they have fought valiantly,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East director of research for Amnesty International.
Maalouf confirmed that “it is time for Saudi Arabia to stop using the judiciary as a sword of control over the activists’ necks. The “reform campaign” in Saudi Arabia cannot be considered credible as long as these women and other peaceful activists are still targeted because of their work.”
Since Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud assumed power in the Kingdom and his crown prince, his son Muhammad, the security services directly affiliated to the latter’s office, headed by the newly established State Security Service, began arrest campaigns against political, social and human rights activists from various currents.
The Saudi European Organization for Human Rights has documented the arrest of 87 women by the security authorities since Salman and his son’s rule of the kingdom (2015-2020).
The Saudi European Organization stated that there are currently 50 detainees in the Dhahban prison in Jeddah, while the authorities have released eight, but their trial is still ongoing, and eight women have been released permanently.
She said that the fate of one of the detainees is still unknown.
The detainee, Hanan al-Dhaybiyani, died in Dhahban prison on October 10, 2016, which was condemned by a widespread international human rights defender and calls for the release of the detainees of conscience.