Saudi women’s rights activist tortured

This 22 January 2016 video says about itself:

Arrested and jailed for driving in Saudi Arabia | The Economist

Our Middle East correspondent speaks to Loujain al-Hathloul and Fahad Albutairi, a married couple, about Loujain’s arrest and incarceration for driving as a woman in Saudi Arabia.

By Tamara Qiblawi, CNN:

Saudi women’s rights activist is being tortured in ‘palace of terror’, brother says

Updated 1139 GMT (1939 HKT) January 31, 2019

The brother of jailed Saudi activist Loujain Alhathloul has detailed in a CNN opinion piece the abuse his sister has allegedly endured in prison.

In the article, Walid Alhathloul writes that during a recent visit by his parents to see Loujain she told them she was regularly whipped, beaten, electrocuted and sexually harassed in a basement she called the “palace of terror.”

Alhathloul was arrested in May 2018, along with 10 other women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Her family, Saudi activists and Human Rights Watch have alleged in recent months that she and other female detainees have been tortured and sexually harassed in prison.

They also allege that a former top adviser of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saud al-Qahtani, was present during at least one of the interrogation sessions.

Qahtani allegedly threatened to rape, kill and throw one of the detainees into the sewage system, according to Human Rights Watch and people familiar with the events.

Qahtani was also implicated in the Istanbul consulate murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

I am not by any means an apologist for the Turkish Erdogan regime which killed many people both in Turkey and in Syria. However, the Turkish government is innocent in the Khashoggi murder case. CNN should have written: ‘in Turkey, by [the government of] Saudi Arabia’.

The former royal court communications chief was removed from his post after Riyadh pinned the blame for the murder on him and a handful of other high-ranking officials.

Attempts to reach Qahtani through the Saudi government were unsuccessful.

“Whenever Loujain spoke about the torture sessions to my parents, her hands shook uncontrollably. I fear the pain will stay with her forever,” Walid Alhathloul wrote in the CNN opinion piece.

“My own baby sister said she is being whipped, beaten, electrocuted and harassed on a frequent basis,” he wrote. “She said that sometimes there are masked men who wake her up in the middle of the night to shout unimaginable threats.”

Walid Alhathloul also said that one of the investigators tried to pressure his sister into marrying him, threatening her with rape.

Saudi authorities did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on Alhathloul’s allegations.

Alhathloul then made a plea to Mariah Carey, who takes to the stage in King Abdullah Economic City alongside Sean Paul and DJ Tiesto on Thursday night: “Now that I told you the story of my sister, will Mariah Carey call for her release on stage? Will my voice be heard?”

Other activists also urged the American singer to cancel her concert over the allegations of human rights abuse. Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy tweeted: “Dear Mariah Carey, I hear you’re planning on performing in Saudi Arabia. Are you aware that women’s rights activists have been detained without charge since May 2018?”

CNN is attempting to contact Carey’s representatives and will update this story if a response is received.

In addition to Loujain Alhathloul, the detainees include prominent women’s rights activists Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Samar Badawi and Hatoon al-Fassi.

13 thoughts on “Saudi women’s rights activist tortured

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