Saudi Arabia: Saudi Woman Imprisoned for Women’s Rights Tweets: Manahel al-Otaibi

On 16 November 2022, Saudi authorities arrested 29-year-old Manahel al-Otaibi. She has been forcibly disappeared since November 2023. She was charged with violating the Anti-Cyber Crime Law due to her tweets in support of women’s rights as well as posting photos of herself at the mall without an abaya (a traditional loose-fitting long-sleeved robe) on Snapchat. Her case has been referred from the Criminal Court in Riyadh to the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), set up to try terrorism-related crimes. The SCC is notorious for carrying out grossly unfair trials and handing out harsh sentences, including the death penalty, for individuals peacefully expressing themselves online. Saudi authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Manahel al-Otaibi and drop the charges against her.

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