Target: King Salman bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Goal: Thank Saudi Arabian king for the release of women’s rights activist.
A women’s rights activist named Souad al-Shammari was recently released from a Saudi prison, according to a report by Amnesty International. Souad al-Shammari is known for her opposition to the country’s oppressive guardianship system, in which women are the legal subordinates of men. She has also taken action against a law that prevents women from driving.
In October 2014, al-Shammari was detained without charge by Saudi Arabian officials, subjected to a four-hour interrogation, and then held for three months. Amnesty International reports that her current legal status is unclear, and her daughter says that she was released under the condition that she tone down her activism efforts. This is clearly an effort on the part of the Saudi government to censor her activism.
Although this detention never should have taken place to begin with, the release is a victory for the Saudi Arabian Liberals Network, which is headed by al-Shammari. According to an article in Global News, some are even speculating that her discharge might prompt the release of her fellow activist Raif Badawi. Badawi’s case has been widely publicized since his arrest in 2012, when he was arrested for the “crime” of insulting Islam. He now resides in a Saudi prison, where his health is deteriorating due to the brutal lashes he receives every week. One can only hope that this will bring the Saudi Arabian government to release Badawi as well.
Please sign this petition to praise the king of Saudi Arabia for this action.
Dear King Salman,
I would like to thank you for the recent release of women’s rights activist Souad al-Shammari, who was imprisoned last October. Although I believe that she never should have been detained to begin with, I feel that this action represents a step forward for human rights in Saudi Arabia. Citizens in your country should not be detained for asking for equal rights for everyone. I stand with Souad al-Shammari, and I believe that women should have the same rights as men.
I feel that it would be in the best interests of the Saudi people if you listened to what citizens like Souad al-Shammari have to say. Societies tend to be more successful when they are more respectful of women.
I also feel that this would be a good chance to show the world that your government can be doubly merciful by releasing the blogger Raif Badawi.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: edward musiak via Flickr