Loujain Al Hathloul, the Nobel-nominated Saudi women's rights activist, stands trial tomorrow. Here's a very important thread ahead of that. Please read & share. https://twitter.com/LinaAlhathloul/status/1331169930419589121
Loujain is an influential, brave Saudi women's rights activist who was arrested in 2018 along with other Saudi women's rights activists. She was accused of a bunch of trumped up charges, most seriously treason. These charges have absolutely no basis. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/24/saudi-arabia-to-put-womens-rights-activist-loujain-al-hathloul-on-trial
Loujain and the other women were tortured by beatings, electrocution, waterboarding, and sexual harassment. MBS's right-hand man, Saud Al Qahtani, was present during her torture. She was asked to sign forced confessions. We do not know if she did. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/may/24/what-they-did-to-me-was-so-horrific-brutal-silencing-of-a-saudi-feminist-loujain-al-hathloul
The government thought they'd break Loujain, but they didn't. Even from her prison she continued to be a serious problem for MBS and his regime. As international solidarity and publicity around the case increased, the problem to MBS grew. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/21/middleeast/saudi-arabia-loujain-hathloul-g20-intl/index.html
And so Loujain became a serious problem for MBS. Two recent events made this problem more urgent for him. First, Loujain has been on hunger strike and her health has been waning. Second, MBS's most important protector, Trump, has just lost the US election https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54813524
Aware of his situation, MBS wants to enter the Biden era with fewer lingering problems, despite all the disasters he's created. So he decided to put Loujain on trial tomorrow, hoping that a conclusion to the trial can make the problem go away...
Here's the two most likely outcomes of the trial:
- They convict Loujain on trumped up charges, then "pardon" her or say she's already served her sentence
- They release Loujain due to insufficient evidence while keeping her under heavy restrictions
In both cases, Loujain would be kept under some sort of house arrest, travel ban, and media ban for the rest of her life. This is *completely* unacceptable to anybody who is campaigning for her and will do nothing to stop the international campaigns. In fact, it'll inflame them.
Loujain should be:
- Released unconditionally
- Compensated for the horrors she was put through
- Her torturers should be arrested
- All restrictions on her freedom of movement should be lifted
Anything less, and she's effectively still in prison.
MBS wants to make this go away.
Trump used to cover up for him, now he's entering uncharted waters.
Don't let him get away with this.
Please quote-retweet this thread. I will retweet your replies.
Update: MBS's regime referred Loujain to terrorism court. Commentary here. https://twitter.com/iyad_elbaghdadi/status/1331589926056587265
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