(RIYADH,S.A.) Court Report: Sentencing of prominent women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul to f ive years and eight months in prison, local media reported, in a trial that has drawn international condemna tion as the faces new U.S. scrutiny from President-Elect Joe Biden over their ‘ Human Rights Record ‘ #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.28: Hathloul, 31, has been held since 2018 following her arrest along with at least a dozen other women’s rights activist: The verdict, reported by Sabq and al-Shark al-Awsat newspapers, poses an early challenge to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s relationship with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who has criticised Riyadh’s human rights record:

Loujain al-Hathloul: Saudi woman activist jailed for five years as condemnation over ‘ Human Rights Record ‘ as scrutiny stepped in U.S from Joe Biden

18 minutes ago
Saudi women"s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul is seen in this undated handout pictureReuters
Loujain al-Hathloul was detained in 2018

A prominent Saudi female activist, who campaigned for women’s right to drive, has been sentenced to more than five years in prison:

Reuters Wire News, [Dec 28, 2020 at 12:36] https://t.me/reuters_news_agency/54189
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: Rights groups and her family say Hathloul, who had championed women’s right to drive and for ending the kingdom’s male guardian system, was subjected to abuse electric shocks, waterboarding, flogging and sexual assault. Saudi authorities have denied the charges:

‘ Hathloul’s sentencing came nearly three weeks after a Riyadh court jailed U.S.-Saudi physician Walid al-Fitaihi for six years, despite U.S. pressure to release him, in a case rights groups have called politically motivated ‘

Foreign diplomats said the two trials aimed to send a message at home and abroad that Saudi Arabia would not yield to pressure on human rights issues: Riyadh could also use the sentences as leverage in future negotiations with the Biden administration, one diplomat said: Biden has said he will take a firmer line with the kingdom, an oil titan and a major buyer of American arms, than President Donald Trump, who was a strong supporter of Prince Mohammed:

Hathloul rose to prominence in 2013 when she began publicly campaigning for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia: Saudi officials have said the arrests of women activists were made on suspicion of harming Saudi interests and offering support to hostile elements abroad: Some of the women detainees have been released while their trials continued: Activist Nassimah al-Saadah was sentenced to five years in prison with two suspended in late November, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Hathloul’s family made her charge sheet public after her case was transferred to Riyadh’s Specialised Criminal Court, originally established to try terrorism suspects but which has been used over the past decade to prosecute perceived dissidents: The main charges against Hathloul, which carried up to a 20-year sentence, include: seeking to change the Saudi political system, calling for an end to male guardianship, attempting to apply for a U.N. job, attending digital privacy training, communicating with international rights groups and other Saudi activists: Hathloul was also charged with speaking to foreign diplomats and with international media about women’s rights in the kingdom, including Reuters, which declined to comment:

#AceNewsDesk report …………….Published: Dec.28: 2020:

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