Saudi court postpones hearing for women activists after new arrests

Most of the 11 women on trial had campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom's male guardianship system.

By REUTERS
April 17, 2019 10:54
1 minute read.
Saudi court postpones hearing for women activists after new arrests

Demonstrators from Amnesty International hold placards outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy to protest on International Women's day to urge Saudi authorities to release jailed women's rights activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef in Paris, France, March 8, 2019. The placard r. (photo credit: BENOIT TESSIER /REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

A Saudi court on Wednesday postponed a fourth hearing in the trial of several women rights activists, a case that has intensified Western criticism of Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A court official informed some of the women's relatives that the session would not take place, citing the judge's "private reasons." He could not provide a new date.

The public prosecutor said last May that some of the women had been arrested on suspicion of harming Saudi interests and offering support to hostile elements abroad.



Most of the 11 women on trial had campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom's male guardianship system.



Accusations by some of the women that they were tortured in detention have fueled criticism of the Saudi authorities, already under global scrutiny over Khashoggi's murder, which some Western countries believe was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.



The public prosecutor has denied the torture allegations, and Saudi officials say the crown prince had no role or knowledge in Khashoggi's murder.



The temporary release last month of three of the women and the case's earlier transfer from a high-security terrorism court without explanation suggested a possibly more lenient handling after months of lobbying by Western governments.



But a fresh spate of arrests earlier this month cast doubt on this. The authorities detained least 14 people seen as supportive of the women, including one of their sons, according to people close to them. Two of the new detainees are dual U.S. citizens and one is pregnant.

Scores of other activists, intellectuals and clerics have been arrested separately in the past two years in an apparent bid to stamp out any opposition to the

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters in Pittsburgh
May 25, 2019
Bernie Sanders refuses to apologize for condemning armed conflict with Iran

By ZACHARY KEYSER