Family of Saudi Women Rights Activist Says She Was Offered Release from Prison If She Denied Torture

HeadlineAug 14, 2019

The family of Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain Al-Hathloul says she was offered a release from prison in exchange for taping a video retracting accusations she was tortured while behind bars — an offer she rejected. Hathloul was arrested in May of last year, along with four other women activists. She led a movement to lift a ban on female drivers and overhaul the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia. According to human rights groups and her family, Hathloul has since been held in solitary confinement and has been subjected to abuse, including electric shocks, flogging and threats of sexual violence. Hathloul’s siblings say that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s former top adviser, Saud al-Qahtani — who has been implicated in Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder — was present while she was being tortured, and threatened to rape and kill her. Click here to see our interview with Loujain’s brother and sister, Walid and Lina Al-Hathloul.

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