Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who was released from prison after three years, has narrated her horrifying ordeal of custodial torture. Hathloul has reportedly alleged that she was raped in prison for three years and was subjected to sexual abuse by multiple people. She was released on Wednesday after 1001 days in prison amid persistent international pressure for her release.
Hathloul’s elder sister broke the news of her release on Twitter saying, “The best day of life, Loujain is at my parent’s home”.
يممممممممممممممممممه ماااااااامممممماااا— علياء الهذلولAlia al-Hathloul (@alia_ww) February 10, 2021
احلى يوم بحياتي، لجين بيت أهلي 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
The news of her release was later confirmed by the US President Joe Biden who termed it a ‘welcome news’. “She was a powerful advocate for women’s rights and releasing her was the right thing to do”, President Biden said.
Lina, another sister of Hathloul also posted a tweet, “Loujain is at home”.
Loujain is at home !!!!!!— Lina Alhathloul لينا الهذلول (@LinaAlhathloul) February 10, 2021
تم الافراج عن لجين pic.twitter.com/fqug9VK6Mj
According to reports, Hathloul was imprisoned to almost six years in prison in December last year. She was arrested in May 2018 along with several other women activists. She was released after 2 years and 10 months of her arrest and her sentences was applied retrospectively since May 2018. Hathloul demanded women’s right to drive and also the abolition of Saudi Arabia’s restrictive male guardianship system that limits women’s right to movement. Even after her release Hathloul, however, will be under probation and is banned from travelling.
Hathloul was allegedly raped and shown pornographic films
It has been alleged by the family of Hathloul that she was given electric shocks and sexually harassed in prison. A letter written by human rights lawyer Baroness Kennedy reportedly stated that Hathloul was raped many times in Saudi Arabia’s prison. Before that, she was also allegedly raped several times during interrogation. Kennedy further alleged that she was shown pornographic films during interrogation and that she was hung from a ceiling, severely beaten and given electric shock multiple times during her imprisonment.