State media in Saudi Arabia have branded the women as traitors, and have accused some of the women of forming a “cell,” posing a threat to state security for their “contact with foreign entities with the aim of undermining the country’s stability and social fabric.” Smear campaigns like this are a common tactic used worldwide to try and discredit human rights defenders.
Women human rights defenders around the world face harassment and violence because they are women, and because they may step outside traditional gender norms to publicly advocate for equality.
These women are courageous activists who have publicly and peacefully advocated for an end to the male guardianship system, the right to drive, and an end to gender-based violence. The price they are paying for their activism is steep; they could face lengthy prison sentences.
Amnesty International firmly opposes all forms of Islamophobia and condemns any and all acts of white supremacist racism and violence against Muslim communities.
Learn more about the jailed women human rights defenders and what you can do to help.