London event marks a year of Saudi Arabia's crackdown on women's rights

By agency reporter
May 13, 2019

On Wednesday 15 May 2019, Amnesty International UK and the Saudi Arabia-focused campaign organisation ALQST are hosting an event to mark the one-year point since a group of prominent women’s rights activists were arrested in Saudi Arabia.

On 15 May 2018, a number of prominent women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia – including Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef – were detained for their peaceful human rights work. 

The arrests, coming just weeks before the much-publicised lifting of the country’s ban on women being allowed to drive, were followed by further round-ups and multiple reports that some of the detainees were tortured. Eleven activists were put on trial in March, charged with promoting women’s rights and calling for an end to the country’s notorious male guardianship system. The women were also charged over their contact with international organisations – including Amnesty – as well as foreign media and other activists.

The 15 May event, being held at Amnesty’s east London headquarters, will see an expert panel discussing the crackdown on Saudi women’s human rights defenders and its wider implications for Saudi Arabia as well as for countries – including the UK – with significant diplomatic, economic and military relations with Saudi Arabia.

The event begins at 5 pm. Admission is free but places should be reserved. Speakers include:

  • Layla Moran MP (chair): member of the Detention Review Panel for Women Activist Detainees in Saudi Arabia 
  • Safa Al Ahmad: award-winning Saudi journalist and filmmaker
  • Dana Ahmed: Saudi Arabia Researcher, Amnesty International
  • Taif Alkhudary: Legal Officer, MENA Rights Group
  • Melanie Gingell: lawyer and Board Member of Gulf Centre for Human Rights

* For more information and to register for a place at the event, click here

* Amnesty International


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