In late July 2018, the Gulf Center for Human Rights said that the Saudi State Security Service arrested human rights activist Nassima Al-Sada, during a widespread campaign of arrests of a number of women rights defenders in Saudi Arabia.
Nassima played a prominent role in the campaign against the male guardianship system and in the campaign to give women the right to drive a car.
The Gulf Center said that the Saudi authorities forcibly disappeared Nassima, along with other female activists, without giving her family any information on her whereabouts for a long period of time.
Many national and international human rights organizations stood in solidarity with Nassima.
On August 1, 2018, Human Rights Watch condemned the arrest of Nassima Al-Sada, stressing that the arrests campaign by orders of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman was an unprecedented campaign in the history of the Kingdom, against the movements of feminism and human rights defender of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.
The European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) stated that the campaign of arrests which included Nassima Al-Sada, an activist in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, comes as a continuation of the campaign launched in May of 2018 against women rights defenders. The arrests have been criticism by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Together for Justice condemned the continued detention of Nassima Al-Sada and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, as well as the serious violations she faces at the hands of the Saudi authorities, which detained her in solitary confinement for nearly a year, deprived her of all her political and humanitarian rights. They also denied her the right to know the ruling issued against her, after being accused in the Saudi media of treason and the authorities accused her of working to “undermine the stability of the Kingdom, harm its national security.
Together for Justice called on all human rights organization to put pressure to ensure the release of Nassima and all other female human rights detainees, and stop all violations against them.
Nassima Al-Sada is a human rights activist from the coastal city of Al-Qatif. She worked for a long time as part of the women’s rights campaigns calling for the abolition of the “male guardianship” system and the lifting of the ban on women driving cars.
She started her human rights work in defense of workers’ rights and children’s rights in 2008. She became a candidate for the municipal elections in the Eastern Province in 2015, but on elections day her name was not on the ballot papers, so she immediately filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of the Interior.
In 2017, Nassima Al-Sada established an association to defend women’s rights under the name “Noun”, but she did not get approval from the authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights.