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Amnesty worried Saudi may execute female activist

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi human rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul

Amnesty International has voiced concern about the situation of detained female Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul amid rising speculations that the kingdom may start to execute its jailed women rights campaigners.

Al-Hathloul was detained back in May during an arrest spree by the kingdom of its female rights activists.

"​To be honest, with every day that goes by our concern for the well-being of Loujain increases," Jackie Hansen with the UK-based rights group’s Canada chapter said.

"Saudi Arabia has now escalated the situation by continuing to detain additional women human rights defenders," she added.

Hathoul, already known as one of the most outspoken female critics of the kingdom’s human rights record, was first arrested in 2014 over charges of violating a Saudi law that banned women from driving after she tried to cross the border in her car from the UAE to Saudi Arabia.

She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2013 and her situation has already caught international attention in light of problems facing the Saudi-Canadian ties.

Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador last month after Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland criticized the kingdom’s apprehension of rights activists.

Specter of death

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has announced that Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor is seeking to impose the death penalty against five other human rights activists from the kingdom's Eastern Province.

The activists are on trial at a “terrorism court.”

The first on death row could be Israa al-Ghomgha from the province’s Qatif region, who has been behind the bars for 32 months.

According to the HRW, al-Ghomgha has been charged with incitement to protest.

Also on Thursday, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern over reports about the death sentences, saying his country would continue to stand up against human rights violations in the kingdom.

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