Write a letter. Change a life.
Our virtual Write for Rights event is just a couple of days away. The registration page is here. As we near December 10, International Human Rights Day, I’m focusing on each of the seven Write for Rights cases. Today, I’ll focus on Nassima al-Sada, a human rights defender in Saudi Arabia.
Nassima al-Sada has spent years defending human rights (and particularly women’s rights) as a columnist and human rights advocate in Saudi Arabia. She took part in efforts to combat violence against women, to end the male guardianship requirement and to grant women the right to drive. However, despite its avowed interest in promoting women’s rights, the Saudi government cracked down on women’s rights activists from 2018 to 2019, and detained Nassima al-Sada sometime in late July or early August 2018 because of her advocacy. She has been unjustly imprisoned ever since. This has included a year spent in solitary confinement. Conditions can be brutal for detained female activists. News outlets have reported cases of torture and at least one instance of sexual assault.
Ironically, a number of the injustices Nassima al-Sada fought against have since been at least partially addressed. Women now have the right to drive in Saudi Arabia; and there’s been a partial lifting of the male guardianship requirement for women over the age of 21. However, her continued imprisonment symbolizes the remaining divide between the Saudi government’s stated intentions for a more just society and its actual practices. Join us on December 10, Human Rights Day, as we write letters urging the Saudi government to follow through on its commitment to women’s rights by immediately and unconditionally releasing Nassima al-Sada and all other unjustly detained women human rights defenders.