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UBC Grad Receives Nearly 6 Years in Saudi Prison for Women’s Rights Activism

Source: Aya Batrawy, The Associated Press Staff, December 29, 2020

Biden has vowed to review the U.S.-Saudi relationship and take into greater consideration human rights and democratic principles.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — One of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent women’s rights activists, who is also a graduate of the University of British Columbia (UBC), was sentenced Monday to nearly six years in prison, according to state-linked media, under a vague and broadly worded counterterrorism law. The ruling nearly brings to a close a case that has drawn international criticism and the ire of U.S. lawmakers.

Loujain al-Hathloul has already been in pre-trial detention and has endured several stretches of solitary confinement. Her continued imprisonment was likely to be a point of contention in relations between the kingdom and the incoming presidency of Joe Biden, whose inauguration takes place in January — around two months before what is now expected to be al-Hathloul’s release date.

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