Rights group calls for release of Saudi activists

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

An international human rights group is calling on Saudi Arabia to overturn the conviction of two women jailed for inciting a wife to defy the authority of her husband.

Equality Now said Saudi women’s rights activists Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni were sentenced to 10 months in prison last month and banned from travelling outside of Saudi Arabia for two years following their prison terms.

It said they were found guilty on a Sharia law charge of takhbib — incitement of a wife to defy the authority of her husband.

It was alleged they were convicted because they brought food to a Canadian woman and her children, who had allegedly been abused by the woman’s Saudi husband.

Equality Now said they are in the process of filing an appeal to this unjust conviction, which is due to be heard on July 12.

Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East/North Africa consultant, Equality Now, said in a statement: "We are calling on Saudi Arabia to immediately overturn the unjust conviction of women’s rights activists Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni. 

"Their sentencing to 10 months in prison and travel ban for two years for trying to help a starving woman who called for help is deeply unfair.

"We ask that in future no charges are brought against human rights activists who work peacefully to promote human rights. Women like Wajeha and Fawzia are heroes; they regularly put themselves at risk by fighting against incredible odds to ensure a better world.

"We urgently demand that laws which discriminate against women and girls as part of the unnecessary male guardianship system are changed to ensure that all members of society can reach their full potential. Changing these harmful laws would benefit not only women and girls but everyone in society."

Equality Now insisted there are no grounds for the charge and Al-Huwaider had been targeted for her involvement in the 'Women2Drive' campaign in Saudi Arabia.

Working with women’s and human rights organisations and individual activists since 1992, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilises international action to support efforts to stop these abuses.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Yemen crisis is first big test for Saudi Arabia's King Salman

Yemen crisis is first big test for Saudi Arabia's King Salman

Yemen is at risk of breaking up with the ascent of the Houthi...

Profile: Saudi's new Crown Prince Muqrin

Profile: Saudi's new Crown Prince Muqrin

Heir to Saudi Arabia's throne is a former fighter pilot who was...

Profile: New Saudi Deputy Crown Prince marks generational shift

Profile: New Saudi Deputy Crown Prince marks generational shift

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef is a close friend of the United States...

Most Popular
Most Discussed
  • 16
    Emirates could offer cheaper fares by April

    I was an avid traveller on Emirates, very good service a few not so good times but hey it can happen with any airliner. Now since the last 2 years, i've... more

    Tuesday, 27 January 2015 7:30 PM - Arjun
  • 9
    Expat dies after car plunges from high rise car park in Abu Dhabi

    It looks like the small black/yellow barrier worked like a ramp when the car was reversing and lifted it over the very short outside wall. Very very dangerous... more

    Tuesday, 27 January 2015 12:47 PM - Klaus B.
  • 8
    Rise of the Islamic fashion industry

    It feels great to see that many fashion designers are coming with with the new trends of Muslim clothes. Along with abaya addict, i love the designs offered... more

    Tuesday, 27 January 2015 12:46 PM - Hafeeza Noor