Geneva Council For Human Rights and Justice Denounced KSA  Arrest Prominent Academic


GENEVA – The Geneva Council For Human Rights and Justice condemned the Saudi authorities’ continuing arrests of female activists in the kingdom who defend women’s rights. The most recent of which was the arrest of the well-known academic Hetoon al-Fassi because of her positions asking for women’s rights and public freedoms.

Arresting Al Fassi, a professor at King Saud University and a writer in the local newspaper “Al-Riyadh”, represents another arbitrary measure to suppress human rights activists and restrict public freedoms, the Geneva-based international human rights organization said in a statement.

The council stated that the Saudi authorities continue to suppress the movements calling for women’s rights while women activists continue to be detained arbitrarily and without any legal basis in a violation of international law and human rights and freedom of expression.

It noted that the writer and activist Nouf Abdul Aziz has been arrested on June 6 after expressing her solidarity with three women activists arrested in May, and the arrest of Mia Al-Zahrani, a friend of Abdul Aziz, four days later. She has been arrested after publishing a letter requested by Abdel Aziz to publish it if arrested.

Geneva Council condemned  the Saudi authorities’ travel ban on other activists since May 15. Riyadh has arrested 17 prominent women’s rights female and male activists, accusing them of treason and undermining the stability of the kingdom.

Among the arrested activists are Lujain Al-Hathloul, Eman Al-Nafjan and Aziza Al-Yousef, who are known for defending women’s right to drive, and demanding to end male guardianship over women.

The Council said that the ongoing arrests in Saudi Arabia show the strictness of the repression practiced by the authorities, and the determination to leave its citizens without any space to express the verbal support of the activists detained in this suppressive campaign.

Geneva Council for Human Rights and Justice called for an urgent international intervention to pressure the Saudi authorities to end their abuses against the activists demanding public freedoms, and an immediate release of the detainees and the dozens of prisoners of freedom of expression in the Kingdom and to ensure that Riyadh complies with its obligations under international human rights laws and convections.

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