Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) said that the verdict issued against the prominent activist Loujain Al-Hathloul with five years and eight months imprisonment on charges of inciting to change the regime and serving foreign parties, is an oppressive and unjust verdict, issued by a farcical trial that lacked all standards of a fair trial.
Ignoring international criticism
AOHR UK added that the Saudi authorities have chosen to continue disregarding human rights and ignoring international criticism and appeals by human rights organisations to release Al-Hathloul and to investigate the violations committed against her.
The aforementioned verdict was based on invalid and unreasonable reasons, as the court claimed that Al-Hathloul willingly admitted committing the crimes she was charged with, without coercion, despite the fact that Al-Hathloul informed the court that she was subject to sexual harassment and torture to force her sign these confessions.
Fake judiciary system
The court’s inability to justify the verdict and its contradiction illustrate the damage within the Saudi judicial system, and its complete inability to carry out fair trial. The court considered Al-Hathloul’s forced confessions sufficient to build its judgment and ignored her torture and denial of committing these crimes.
“The Saudi authorities’ endeavor to legitimize the ruling by claiming Al-Hathloul had the right to defense with the presence of representatives of the so-called human rights commission is a futile attempt.”
The Saudi authorities’ endeavor to reflect the idea of carrying out a fair trial by announcing the verdict and its justifications, claiming that Al-Hathloul had the right to defense and that the verdict was issued in her presence and the presence of representatives of the so-called Human Rights Commission is a futile attempt that will not legitimize this unjust ruling.
AOHR UK called on the international community to pressure the Saudi authorities to release all detained activists and thinkers, to form a special international committee to monitor Saudi prisons and detention centers, and to investigate the torture and deaths of activists while in detention.