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Source: People Before Profit Ireland

Thirty-one opposition women TDs and Senators from the Irish parliament have signed an open letter expressing their solidarity with an imprisoned Saudi hunger striker, Loujain al- Hathloul. (See copy of the open letter with signatories, below)

She began her hunger strike on Monday 26th October after prison authorities in Riyadh’s al-Hair prison cut her off from contact with friends and relatives for four months.

Loujain al-Hathloul, who was arrested for driving a car, is a prominent activist campaigning for women’s rights. She was subsequently charged with ‘attempts to de-stabilize the kingdom.’

The thirty-one opposition women TDs and Senators are calling on the Irish Government to summon the Saudi Ambassador to account for these awful actions which shine a light on the utterly appalling record of the Saudi regime.

Bríd Smith TD said: “What is happening to Loujain al- Hathloul is a disgrace and we are calling on the Irish government to summon the Saudi Ambassador.

“The Irish government must put pressure on for Loujain al- Hathloul to be released from prison and all charges dropped.”

AN OPEN LETTER IN SOLIDARITY WITH LOUJAIN al-HATHLOUL, A SAUDI WOMAN JAILED FOR DRIVING

 

The Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been in jail since May 2018. She has been refused basic rights, such as visits from her family, and has felt that the only course of action that is open to her is to go on hunger strike.

 

It is an outrage that Loujain was jailed in the first place, never mind being held in prison for over two and a half years. Her ‘offence’, namely being a woman driving a car just weeks before Saudi Arabia lifted a decades-old ban on female drivers is obviously no offence at all. In addition, it is clear from her family that Loujain has faced sexual harassment and torture, including electric shocks and water boarding, in detention. 

In short, the case of Loujain al-Hathloul casts a spotlight on the utterly appalling Saudi human rights record and the dreadful nature of the whole Saudi regime.

We stand in solidarity with Loujain, as well as the countless other women who have faced the same kinds of treatment, merely for asserting their human rights.

We call on the Irish Government to summon the Saudi Ambassador to account for these awful actions and ask the Saudi government to explain why Loujain cannot have regular visits and demand that visits are permitted immediately.

 

SIGNED:

Bríd Smith TD

Mary Lou McDonald TD

Denise Mitchell TD

Louise O’Reilly TD

Kathleen Funchion TD

Pauline Tully TD

Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Mairead Farrell TD

Reada Cronin TD

Patricia Ryan TD

Sorca Clarke TD

Imelda Munster TD

Rose Conway-Walsh TD

Claire Kerrane TD

Senator Lynn Boylan

Senator Elisha McCallion

Senator Ivana Bacik

Senator Rebecca Moynihan

Senator Marie Sherlock

Senator Annie Hoey

Roisin Shortall TD

Catherine Murphy TD

Holly Cairns TD

Jennifer Whitmore TD

Joan Collins TD

Catherine Connolly TD

Marian Harkin TD

Senator Frances Black

Senator Eileen Flynn

Senator Lynn Ruane

Senator Alice Mary Higgins

MIL OSI United Kingdom