UN urges Saudi Arabia to release women rights defenders

UN experts condemn actions of Saudi authorities against female human rights defenders

UN urges Saudi Arabia to release women rights defenders

UN human rights experts on Friday urged Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release all women human rights defenders.

The experts, including Michel Forst, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said in a statement that Israa Al-Ghomgham, Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sadah, Nouf Abdulaziz, Mayya Al-Zahrani, and Hatoon Al-Fass have been in pre-trial detention for the past four months.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Saudi authorities against these women human rights defenders and we call on them, as a matter of urgency, to immediately release and drop the charges against all of them,” the experts said.

They also reminded the Saudi Government of its obligation to protect and promote the rights of all human rights defenders as they peacefully carry out their legitimate work.

"In the context of widespread and systemic gender discrimination, women human rights defenders face particular risks, especially when their work challenges stereotypical ideas about women’s place in society, as in this case," they added.