Saudi women’s rights campaigner arrested: report

Saudi Arabian rights activists on Nov. 1 said that authorities had arrested Suad al-Shamari, a prominent women's rights advocate, for insulting Islam. The arrest, they said, was part of an effort to eliminate dissent. Suad al-Shamari is a founder of the Saudi Liberal Network, a liberal human rights group. Last month, in a reference to religious or tribal leaders, Shamari posted on Twitter that she had been called "immoral and an infidel" for her criticisms of "their sheiks." Another founder of the rights group, Raef Badawi, was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, a conviction upheld by an appellate court in September. His wife said Oct. 31 on Twitter that Shamari is in Jeddah prison for the same charge. One of the activists reporting her arrest, who wished to remain unnamed, stated that this charge is commonly used against those who work to defend human rights.

From Jurist, Nov. 1. Used with permission.