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Ask Hague to back Saudi women protestors

UPDATE: Thank you for such a quick response to our action – you sent over 120 messages, most of them within an hour of our action launching! It might not sound a lot, but imagine all of those arriving in your ‘mention’ list…

The Foreign Secretary did update his twitter account after the talks – he tweeted “Solid & productive talks in #SaudiArabia. Vital time in our relations & #MiddleEast. Discussed all aspects of Arab Spring incl #humanrights”. We’ve asked him again if he raised the case, and we’ll update if we get an answer. Thanks again for joining us.

On Sunday 3rd July, 15 women and 5 children were arrested in Saudi Arabia during a protest to demand fair trials for their relatives. All but 2 women have now been released after they were believed to have signed pledges not to protest again.

The 2 remaining women – Rima bint Abdul Rahman al-Jareesh and Sharifa al-Saqa’abi – have previously signed petitions calling for reform in the country. In addition, al-Jareesh is believed to have refused to sign the pledge or to have her mahram (male guardian) act as her guarantor to secure her release.

Saudi Arabia has form when it comes to protestors – people face gross human rights violations at the hands of the security forces including being denied access to lawyers, torture, and forced confessions. Women face even more discrimination in law, including the need for a male guardian to travel outside their own homes.

If these women were arrested solely for peacefully demonstrating in public, then Amnesty considers them to be prisoners of conscience, and they should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Take action – Send a tweet to William Hague

Today the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is in Saudi Arabia for talks with the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud. He’s most likely only there today, so we’ve just a few hours to ask him to raise the cases of al-Jareesh and al-Saqa’abi with the Prince Saud.

As William Hague is active on twitter, we’re hoping he’s checking his blackberry today! Let’s send him a message he can’t ignore. We’ve a couple of suggested tweets below – just press ‘tweet’ next the one you like most, or write your own – but keep it polite!

Dear @williamjhague, 2 Saudi women remain detained for asking for fair trials of loved ones. Will you raise their case?

Dear @williamjhague, Saudi women have been detained simply for asking for a fair trial of their loved ones. Please help.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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