Five Months After the Lifting of the Driving Ban, Saudi Women’s Rights Activists Are Still Imprisoned and Reportedly Being Abused

It’s been practically 5 months because Saudi Arabia officially lifted its ban on female drivers, enabling females to get behind the wheel in the Gulf nation for the pretty initial time. The move was produced as component of the young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030 program, which aims partly to diversify the economy by producing the nation far more appealing to foreign investors. That program has been thrown into disarray because the October 2nd state murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and now reports are emerging that some of the women’s rights activists who have been imprisoned by the Kingdom are becoming abused in jail.

According to the Washington Post:

Several women’s rights activists who have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for far more than six months have been subjected to psychological or physical abuse when in custody, like sleep deprivation and beatings, according to 4 men and women familiar with the circumstances of the activists’ detention.

Some of the abuse occurred throughout interrogations, throughout which various of the females have been administered electric shocks or flogged, two of the men and women stated, citing a witness account. Other females displayed what witnesses stated have been apparent indicators of abuse, like uncontrollable shaking or difficulty standing, the men and women stated.

Saudi Arabia rounded up a number of women’s rights activists more than the summer season, like the prominent Saudi blogger Eman al-Nafjan, the activist Loujain al-Hathloul, and Samar Badawi, who has campaigned against the country’s male guardianship law. Nearly all of them nonetheless stay imprisoned and incommunicado, even as the murder of Khashoggi leads to renewed calls for investigations into Saudi Arabia’s human rights record—renewed calls from absolutely everyone but President Trump, of course, who issued a statement nowadays basically excusing Khashoggi’s murder in favor of preserving the U.S.-Saudi arms trade.

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