Loujain Al Hathloul, a young Saudi women’s rights activist held captive in Saudi Arabia since May 2018 for defying the ban on women driving, has won a prestigious award in France.
The Saudi activist was awarded the Freedom Prize, awarded by an international committee of 5,500 young people from 81 countries. In her absence, the award was handed to two members of her family.
The award was given by a Native American veteran of the Normandy landings, Charles Norman Shay. He said : “To Jane… you are only 31 years old and have experienced brutality. You were imprisoned and tortured because you drove a car in your country, Saudi Arabia.
“Thanks to your sacrifice, women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and this is a very important progress.” The award was announced exactly two years after the assassination of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, by Saudi security forces.