Amnesty International has
said Saudi Arabia's women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been arrested
again. The Amnesty release said that no reason was given for her arrest and she
was not allowed to contact her lawyer and family but added that it might be due
to her rights activism.
Loujain al-Hathloul, 27, is
one of few women voices in a conservative country with one of the most
regressive societies for women where they are cursed to live a life of second
They are not allowed to
travel alone. They are not allowed to drive and they were now allowed to vote
and stand in elections until the local polls of December 2015.
They survive under the strict
glare of male guardianship and before last month, they were not allowed even to
go to a doctor or have their studies without the approval of their male
guardians. An order by Saudi Arabian king Salman last month gave them limited
freedom to access education and healthcare on their own.
There has been a growing
voice against these atrocities but treatment meted out to Loujain says nothing
much has changed. Amnesty International's Campaign Director in the Middle-East
Samah Hadid said Loujain was arrested on June 4 at King Fahad International
Airport in Dammam in Saudi Arabia and she is due for interrogation in Riyadh by
the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.
Before it, Loujain was
arrested on November 30, 2014 for violating Saudi Arabia's driving ban imposed
on women and was in jail in 73 days. To further choke women voices and probably
to make her case an example to deter others, her case was transferred to a
terrorism court. Loujain has a wide following on Twitter and the Saudi
government found her social media posts dangerous enough to crack down.
According to a Washington
Post report, she holds a driving license that allows her to drive in every
other country of the Arabian Peninsula and when she was arrested in November
2014, she was trying to enter Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates. Since
then, she has not tried driving.
Loujain also stood in 2015
civic polls but Saudi authorities didn't allow her name on the ballot papers.
The pain of being treated like second class citizens with borrowed lives echoes
in Loujain's words.
Last month, US President
Donald Trump was in Saudi Arabia along with his daughter Ivanka Trump who found
Saudi Arabia's progress on women's rights encouraging but Loujain questions
such events involving a close circle of influential Saudi women who trace their
success thanks to their male guardians. She questions the system where the
success achieved by a handful of Saudi women is not theirs but due to the
opportunities provided by men.