At last, after over 1000 days in prison, Loujain al-Hathloul has been released from prison. This is amazing progress — and we are so thrilled that Loujain will be able to be with her family and friends — but Loujain is not actually yet free. Loujain’s sentence comes with a five-year travel ban where she will be barred from leaving Saudi Arabia. Our advocacy for Loujain will not end until she is completely free.
Loujain al-Hathloul is a brilliant Saudi women’s rights activist who was a loud advocate for a woman’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia. She campaigned against the driving ban in 2013 and was arrested for driving from the UAE to Saudi Arabia in 2014. In 2018, armed men raided Loujain’s house and arrested her again. She spent years in pretrial detention where she endured torture, sexual harassment, threats, and more. She was offered her freedom in exchange for declaring on video that she was not tortured, but she declined and was sentenced by a terrorism court.
Loujain has shown immense bravery and dedication to her cause. She endured things no person should ever have to go through — waterboarding, electroshock, floggings — solely because she had the audacity to stand up for human rights and women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Add your name to our love letter to Loujain!
Loujain’s family and friends are asking for people to not refer to Loujain’s status as “free.” A truly #FreeLoujain would not have such strict conditions on her release. We hope her release means that more human rights defenders will be released soon. Until then, we will not stop until Loujain is truly free and justice is served. Thank you all for your continued support for Loujain al-Hathloul and her family.
Danaka, Ariel, Carley, Ann, Angela, Ciara, Cody, Emily, Farida, Grace, Jodie, Kelsey, Leila, Leonardo, Maxine, Mary, Medea, Nancy, Paki, Sana, and Teri.