Target: Muhammad bin Abdul El Karim Abdul Azziz El Issa, Minister of Justice of Saudi Arabia
Goal: Free women’s rights activists from prison in Saudi Arabia
Two women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, after helping a woman and her children escape an allegedly abusive marriage, were recently convicted of violating a religious law by “supporting a wife without her husband’s knowledge, thereby undermining the marriage.” In addition to prison time, they were given a two-year travel ban, an unprecedented punishment that may be related to their work for women’s rights. Urge the Saudi government to absolve these activists of the charges and instead investigate the husband who allegedly abused his wife and children.
Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni are two female women’s rights activists who have worked on various causes in Saudi Arabia, including attempting to lift the ban on women drivers. They supported a Canadian woman and her children in fleeing Saudi Arabia because of the woman’s allegedly abusive husband. Although the Saudi government absolved them of a “kidnapping” charge for aiding in the escape, the activists were charged with breaking the Sharia law of Takhbib, or inciting a woman to defy her husband’s authority. They were given 10 months in prison and a two-year travel ban from the Saudi kingdom upon completion of their prison sentence.
Under the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia, the rights of women and girls are routinely violated. Recently Saudi Arabia proposed laws that would end child marriage, and girls are also now allowed to play sports in private schools. But these changes aren’t enough: in this instance, punishing the activists for violating a religious law was more important than investigating the alleged abuse of the Canadian woman and her children.
Take a moment to sign the petition below to tell the Saudi Minister of Justice to absolve these activists of all charges, and to instead investigate the alleged abuse by the Canadian woman’s husband.
Dear Minister Muhammad bin Abdul El Karim Abdul Azziz El Issa,
I urge you to free Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni. These activists were aiding a woman to escape alleged abuse, which should have been the Saudi government’s focus. In order to comply with international standards for human rights, Saudi Arabia must protect, not punish these women’s rights activists, and thoroughly investigate instances of violence against women and children.
The male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia must end to allow Saudi women and girls their basic human rights. Absolve Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni of all charges, and lift the travel ban.
[Your Name Here]