Three of eleven women’s rights activists arrested for human rights work in Saudi Arabia have been temporarily released from prison following a bail hearing on Thursday. More are expected to be released this Sunday but the Saudi Arabian media says that these releases are on a temporary basis.
Eleven women were on trial in Saudi Arabia for charges related to human rights work, contacting foreign officials, and violating the countries cyber-crime laws. Some of these women have been held since May 15, 2018, originally with no formal charges against them. While in prison, multiple of these advocates have reported cases of abuse and torture to their families.
ALQST, a UK-based Saudi rights organization, has identified the women released as Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, and Roqaya al-Mohareb. ALQST, along with Amnesty International, have been advocating for the release of these women since their imprisonment in May 2018. Amnesty International has called the charges these women face “bogus.”
Amnesty International is currently calling for the Saudi Arabian authorities to release the other eight women still being held. Additionally, they are calling for the permanent release of the activists and for all charges to be dropped. The organizations fighting for the women are hopeful that the Saudi Authorities will continue to release the wrongfully imprisoned advocates.
Media: BBC 2019; NPR 2019; AP 2019; Amnesty International 2018