On May 19th 2018, just a few weeks before the official lifting of the female driving ban in Saudi Arabia, the world was shocked to hear of the arrests of three of the most prominent women activists in Saudi Arabia, Aziza Al-Yousef, Eman Al-Nafjan, and Loujain Al-Hathloul.
These tireless, brave and tenacious campaigners for years fought against the ban on women driving. Following their arrest, the Saudi media ran a smear campaign against them, sharing pictures of these women with the word “traitor’’ stamped in red across their faces and now they are facing charges for "treason" that could lead to 20 years in jail.
Today, we ask you to participate in The Freedom Drive, a powerful campaign created by Manal Al-Sharif, a recognized women´s rights activist.
This campaign is a call for womens and mens around the world to stand up towards ending male guardianship and releasing immediately these activists from prison.
Please join us by signing this petition and sharing this campaign with the hashtag #IDrive4Freedom.
We will be sending an open petition to the King of Saudi Arabia and his Crown Prince.
“The Freedom Drive” itinerary is as follows:
April 10 – 11: New York, NY
April 12 – 13 : San Francisco, CA
April 14 – 15: Los Angeles, CA
April 16: Phoenix, AZ
April 18: Houston, TX
April 20-21: New Orleans, LA
April 22: Birmingham, AL
April 23: Charlotte, NC
April 24: Richmond, VA
April 25: Washington, DC
URGENT ACTION SAUDI ARABIA IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS DEFENDERS In May of 2018, Saudi authorities arrested Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, and Aziza al-Yousef along with other prominent women’s rights activists just weeks before the country lifted the ban on women driving. These women have been arbitrarily detained in undisclosed locations for nearly one year with little or no contact with their families. The women who have been able to speak with family members have reported that in jail they have been beaten, tortured, electrocuted, and sexually harassed. These arbitrary detentions are part of a sweeping crackdown on anyone who is even perceived as a critic of the Saudi regime. The women’s rights activists have been publicly accused of working to “undermine the security” of Saudi Arabia and domestic news outlets have published the names and photos of the women stamped with the word “traitor” in a state-sponsored smear campaign. Last month, trials began for at least 11 women on charges including activism against the state’s male guardianship law, making contact with foreign journalists, and — in one case — applying for a job at the United Nations. The goals of the Freedom Drive are to raise awareness about these activists who have been detained and put on trial for advocating peacefully for basic human rights and to abolish Saudi’s male guardianship system that enslaves Saudi women. The Freedom Drive campaign will continue pushing leaders in the U.S. and abroad to enforce the Global Magnitsky Act against Saudi officials who are complicit in violating human rights.