Press Release: Harsh arbitrary sentences against Saudi women activists


21 August 2022


Sanad Organisation for Human Rights 


We at Sanad Organisation for Human Rights are deeply concerned by the harsh arbitrary rulings issued by the Saudi judiciary against Saudi women activists, namely activists Salma Al-Shehab and activist Maha Al-Hwaiti.

The Saudi judiciary has recently sentenced the Saudi academic and activist Salma Al-Shehab to 34 years in prison followed by a 34-year travel ban for peaceful activism and for expressing her thoughts through social media. The Saudi judiciary has also issued an arbitrary ruling against activist Maha Al-Hwaiti, with a 23-year prison sentence and a travel ban for a similar period,  for tweets expressing her opinion about the displacement of Al-Hwaitat residents and the increased cost of living.

Sanad asserts its rejection of these unfair and unlawful sentences that female activists are subjected to in Saudi Arabia, which we believe are completely devoid of legal procedures and standards, as it has always been the case with the corrupt and politicised judicial system in Saudi Arabia.

While we reject and deplore these arbitrary rulings against the two female activists, we affirm that freedom of expression is not a crime and that it is a fundamental right for every human being. We call on the Saudi authorities to immediately release Salma Al-Shehab and Maha Al-Hwaiti, allow them to communicate with their families, and compensate them for the psychological and physical damage they have suffered since their arrest.

Sanad also calls on human rights institutions, international organisations, and the international community with to intensify the pressure on the Saudi regime to release the two detained women, Al-Shehab and Al-Hwaiti and all other jailed activists, and to continue to expose the ongoing violations that the Saudi regime and its judicial system impose on activists and claimants for rights and freedoms in Saudi Arabia.


Sanad Organisation for Human Rights 


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