A farcical court sentenced Loujain Al-Hathloul to eight years and five months imprisonment
A court convicted Loujain Al-Hathloul and confirmed her participation in a number of “prohibited activities linked to combatting terrorism and funding it”. The court sentenced Al-Hathloul to eight years and five months imprisonment.
The ruling was issued by the Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia which was biased against Al-athloul from the first day of opening the case in March 2019. It initially refused to hear her statements, investigate allegations of torture that she was subjected to at the hands of the security services, or investigate her confession to the charges brought against her, which she repeatedly stated that it was extracted under torture.
The text of the ruling was in itself evidence of prejudice and lack of independence of the court, as the judge decided, without clear reasons, that Al-Hathloul’s confessions are sound and do not have any suspicion of coercion or pressure.
The judge decided that Al-Hathloul was lying in her allegations and relied only on the statements of the security services, saying that she voluntarily admitted committing the charges against her, and her confessions without coercion.
Conflicting positions were documented by the Criminal Court. Last November the court decided to transfer the case file without justification to the Specialized Criminal Court which deals with terrorism cases, and again without justification, the file was returned to the Criminal Court, which proves that the judiciary is a politicized tool in the hands of the regime.
With this ruling, the Saudi regime tried to close this farcy suffered by Al-Hathloul, during which she was deprived of all her legal rights, including the right to appoint a lawyer to defend her and be present during her interrogations, in addition to not having any evidence against her except her confession, to which she demanded opening a case against officials and members of security services for torturing her to extract confessions to the charges brought against her.
Together for Justice affirms that this ruling is another case of oppression and suppression of activists in Saudi Arabia, to which the international community and all relevant international institutions must pay attention, as it puts the lives of all dissidents in Saudi Arabia at risk.
The organisation stated that the solidarity campaigns by many human rights defenders around the world which supported Hathloul’s, contributed to limiting the negative impact Mohamed bin Salman was intending, but it also was not sufficient to end her suffering or obtain legal redress for her.