DW News

DW News 2 Dec 2019

Saudi Arabia accused of torturing imprisoned women's rights activists


Arrested and jailed simply because she campaigned for the right of women to drive, Loujain al-Hathlool's activism blazed a trail for women's empowerment in Saudi Arabia, whose human rights record is one of the worst in the world. Loujain al-Hathlool has been languishing in prison for two years on unspecified charges, and she is not alone. Even as Saudi women won basic freedoms to drive and to travel, many of the female activists who championed the cause remain in government custody. Hathlool's family is hoping that international pressure may lead to her release.

Saudi Arabia accused of hacking UK-based dissident
Ghanem Almasarir al-Dosari is a satirist and a YouTube influencer who's racked up more than 200 million views on his channel, where he regularly criticises the Saudi royal family.
He has lived in the UK for more than 15 years in self-imposed exile and says he's been under police protection since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia's embassy in London was notified of a legal claim on Tuesday, accusing the kingdom of hacking the comedian's phone and using it to spy on him.
It's the latest allegation linked to the NSO Group. The Israeli surveillance company's products have allegedly been used to target activists and journalists around the world.

Khalil Jahshan is the Executive Director of the research organisation the Arab Center Washington, DC. He joins us on Skype to discuss this.
A prominent Sudanese activist is calling for a peace agreement in Yemen - and wants Sudanese troops fighting there brought home.
Rashid Saeed of the Sudan Professionals Association says the troops, sent by former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to fight with the Saudi-led coalition, should be sent home.
Calls in Sudan for the troops to be withdrawn have grown louder as the number of casualties has increased.
The Saudis are also accused of recruiting Sudanese mercenaries and child soldiers.

Al Jazeera's Laura Burdon-Manley reports.
Despite an international outcry, Saudi Arabia's public prosecutors have said they will put several female activists on trial. They face charges of fighting for women's right to drive.
The crackdown on women's rights activists began just weeks before the much-anticipated lifting of the driving ban on women on June 24, a cause for which many of the detained activists had campaigned.
While some were quickly released, others remain detained without charge. They include Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Samar Badawi, Nassima al-Saada, Hatoon al-Fassi, Shadan al-Onezi, and Amal al-Harbi, all women's rights activists, as well as male supporters of the movement, including Mohammed Rabea, a social activist.

Al Jazeera's Raheela Mahomed reports.
The brutal murder of a former journalist has sparked outrage from women's rights activists. Mina Mangal was a well-known TV reporter in Kabul. She also worked for the Afghan government before she was shot and killed earlier this month. Her murder highlights the struggles of many Afghan women who face domestic violence without justice. CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports.

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