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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Saudi court hands prison sentence to women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul

United Nations human rights experts have called the charges 'spurious', and along with leading rights groups and lawmakers in the United States and Europe have called for her release

Reuters , Monday 28 Dec 2020
Loujain al-Hathloul
FILE PHOTO: In this file handout photo released on the Facebook page of Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul on August 6, 2019 shows her posing for a picture in a dress by a beach. (Photo: AFP)
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A Saudi court on Monday sentenced prominent women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul to five years and eight months in prison, local media reported.

Hathloul, 31, has been held since 2018 following her arrest along with at least a dozen other women's rights activist.

Hathloul was charged with seeking to change the Saudi political system and harming national security, local media said. The court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence - or most the time already served her arrest on May 15, 2018 - with a conditional release to follow.

Hathloul could therefore be released around end of February 2021, with a return to prison possible if she commits any crime, the newspapers said.

United Nations human rights experts have called the charges "spurious", and along with leading rights groups and lawmakers in the United States and Europe have called for her release.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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