The authorities of the Saudi regime began today the trial of a group of Saudi women activists defending women’s rights for the first time since the arrest of a group of them last year in the case intensified scrutiny in the Saudi record of human rights, especially after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October.
Reuters quoted Ibrahim al-Sayari, head of the Saudi Criminal Court in Riyadh, as saying that ten women appeared before the court where they will be charged without revealing what it is.
The 10 women were among a group of some 12 activists arrested in May last year in the weeks leading up to the lifting of the ban on women driving cars in Saudi Arabia. Among those arrested were those calling for a ban on women driving and ending men’s rule over women in Saudi Arabia. They were arrested after trying to drive the car.
More than 30 countries from the European Union and beyond called last week for the Saudi regime to release these detainees, while activists reported that some were held in solitary confinement and subjected to ill-treatment and torture, including electrocution and flogging.