Hathoulou appeared in a Saudi court on Wednesday, about to begin his trial 900 days after his pre-trial detention.
Instead, the court referred the case to a special criminal court for terrorism and national security cases. The court said in a statement sent to CNN by her family and supporters.
We are deeply concerned about the continued detention of at least five women right-wing activists in Saudi Arabia. We regret that the cases of Lujain al-Hatouloul and Samar Badawi have now been referred to a special criminal court for terrorism and national security cases. Human rights ambassadors to the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Luxembourg and Finland said in a statement.
Hathloul, 31, was jailed in May 2018 for sweeping the country’s former law and order rivals who banned women from driving. The attack comes weeks before the ban was lifted, raising suspicions about the reform agenda put forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The court, which appeared Wednesday, said it would investigate Hathaway’s allegations of torture in prison. Saudi authorities have repeated allegations of torture and sexual harassment in prisons. A new trial date has not yet been announced.
“Peaceful activism is not a crime in advocating for women’s rights. Human rights defenders can be a strong partner of governments in addressing the concerns of society,” the ambassadors said.
We reiterate our call for the release of all political prisoners, including women rights activists, and join the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Rapporteurs and treaty organizations.
CNN approached the Saudi government for a response.
Earlier this month, in an interview with CNN’s Nick Robertson, Southern Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Jubair said that Hatoul’s case was pending before the courts and that “national security issues were being heard.”
Lynn Malouf, Amnesty International’s Representative for the Middle East, said: “An organization used to silence dissent is notorious for serving long prison terms for serious misconduct.
The six-page indictment on Hatroll’s case, seen by CNN, is entitled “Crimes” and deals with activism and foreign journalists and diplomats against the country’s regulated male parental laws.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the U.S. Intelligence Committee, called for the immediate release of Hathaway on Saturday.
“Acting for (women’s) rights is not a crime. The problem is due to allegations of abuse against them and lack of transparency / access to trials, ”the bureau’s press office wrote on Twitter.
A statement from Hatouloul’s family and followers said that a second hunger strike had begun on October 26 to protest the prison conditions and denied communication with relatives.
They were forced to call off the strike two weeks later. During the night, the authorities woke her up several times and she was exhausted.
In court, the statement said she was weak, her body trembling uncontrollably and her voice was faint and shaky.
Her sister, Lina al-Hatlal, said she and her family had not received an update on Hatouloul since the hunger strike began on Tuesday, the day before she was due to appear in court.
“At this point, the Saudi government, instead of responding to our repeated inquiries about Lujain’s health, blocked our requests and denied us access to Lujain,” she said in a statement.