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.

The municipality of Saudi Qassim released a video showing thermal drones being used to measure body temperatures of shoppers in Buraidah, north central Qassim region in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has brought forward its nightly curfew by four hours in three areas to combat the coronavirus pandemic, state news agency SPA said.

Starting from last Friday, the curfew began at 3 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. in the city of Dammam and the governorates of Taif and al-Qatif, SPA said, quoting a senior interior ministry official. The curfew is lifted at 6 a.m.

Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 2,300 infections and 30 deaths, the most among any of the Gulf Cooperation Council states, which also include Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

The port of Dammam, on the Gulf, is a main entry point for supplies for the oil industry centered in the eastern region and for the rest of the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia will delay the release of its crude official selling prices (OSP) for May until April 10 to wait for the outcome of a meeting between OPEC and its allies regarding possible output cuts, a senior Saudi source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, are set to meet virtually on Thursday to discuss a possible new global oil supply cut to end a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to intervene.

Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay is being accused of deploying "dog whistle" political messaging after he disparaged legislation to protect transgender rights as the "bathroom bill" in a bid to attack his chief opponent. Conservative strategists Jaime Watt and Kory Teneycke weigh in.
Saudi Arabia's Health Minister says its coronavirus cases could reach up to 200,000 as the kingdom reports more than 2,700 infections, including 41 deaths.
The country has the highest number of coronavirus infections in the Gulf and is also dealing with a plunge in oil prices as it tackles the outbreak.
Al Jazeera's Katia Lopez Hoda-Yan re
Drone images show the roads of Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca deserted during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday, April 8.

Saudi Arabia's health minister warned on Tuesday of a huge spike in coronavirus cases of up to 200,000 within weeks, state media reported.

The warning came after the kingdom extended the duration of daily curfews in multiple cities, including the capital Riyadh, to 24 hours in a bid to limit the spread of the deadly virus.

Saudi Arabia has nearly 3,000 infections and over 4 deaths from the coronavirus, according to the latest tally by Johns Hopkins University Thursday.

Authorities had already sealed off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina along with Riyadh and Jeddah, barring people from entering and exiting as well as prohibiting movement between all provinces.

Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round "umrah" pilgrimage last month over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to Islam's holiest cities.

Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year's hajj, scheduled for the end of July. Authorities last week urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.


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