October 3, 2022

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Saudi Arabia: Record 45-year sentence stokes women’s rights fears

The past month may have marked the beginning of a new, dark era for women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia.

Following the 34-year-sentence of Salma al-Shehab earlier in August, Riyadh’s specialized criminal court this week sentenced Nourah bint Saeed al-Qahtani to a new record sentence of 45 years in prison.

The cases bear several parallels, as both women were convicted under laws against counterterrorism and cybercrime for liking and retweeting articles on social media that supported human rights and women’s rights, as well as the fact that none of the women were particularly outspoken or known to the public.