Last week the Free Saudi Activists Coalition — of which Women’s March Global is a member, together with Lina al-Hathloul (sister of imprisoned WHRD Loujain al-Hathloul), has been taking action at the 42nd Human Rights Council to continue advocacy efforts to free imprisoned Saudi Activists.
Since May 2018, the Free Saudi Activists Coalition has worked to increase international pressure to immediately and unconditionally release jailed Saudi Women Human Rights Defenders. Despite the Saudi government recently lifting travel restrictions over women, it continues to detain and torture the activists who have been at the forefront of campaigns to abolish the male guardianship system, grant women the right to drive, and combat violence against women.
Moderated by our Executive Director, Uma Mishra-Newbery, the panel included Lina Al-Hathloul — activist and sister of imprisoned Women’s Human Rights Defender Loujain al-Hathloul; Michel Forst — Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders; Khalid Ibrahim — Executive Director — Gulf Centre for Human Rights, and Salma El Hosseiny — Human Rights Advocacy Officer — ISHR.
Watch the panel discussion here.
- Read Michel Forst’s 2018 World Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
- Read the report by Agnès Callamard — U.N. Special Rapporteur — on the extrajudicial killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Lina delivered a powerful statement at HRC42, demanding justice for her sister Loujain Al-Hathloul. Watch it here.
HOW CAN YOU TAKE ACTION?
“Sustained pressure and public awareness is crucial to the release of all Saudi Women Human Rights Defenders. The more the public is aware, the more protection activists and people who speak out about the issue will have.”
- Lina Al-Hathloul, 24 September, HRC42 Side Event.
CALL ON YOUR ELECTED LEADERS
Last week, Australia delivered a joint statement on behalf of a cross-regional group of UN Member States, calling on Saudi Arabia to improve its human rights record. However many Member States (Governments) have not yet signed the statement.
That is why we need you, to take action by calling on your elected leaders. If you are a citizen or civil society actor from — Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Switzerland- reach out to your government, politicians and media representatives to call for them to sign the Saudi statement. We have 1 week!
“If you have the opportunity to speak up without fear of reprisal, it is your duty to do so, because there are so many women who cannot.”
- Uma Mishra-Newbery, WMG Executive Director
SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLKIT
We need your voice to raise awareness. You can support Lina and the Free Saudi Activists Coalition by using this Social Media Toolkit to join in spreading the message of the coalition and calling for the immediate release of all Saudi activists. The kit includes links, graphics, videos, sample tweets and more.
Maya Hendler is the Programmes and Communications Associate at Women’s March Global.