People Before Profit TD Welcomes Minister Coveney’s Intervention In Loujain Al-Hathloul Case

Loujain al-Hathloul for the FT Weekend

More needs to be done to secure release of women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has welcomed the intervention of Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, into the case of Loujain al-Hathloul, an imprisoned women’s rights activist who has entered hunger strike having had her family visits banned. Loujain had been jailed in Saudi Arabia for driving a car.

Deputy Smith welcomed Minister Coveney’s intervention and discussions with the Saudi Ambassador on November the 9th. Minister Coveney confirmed this via letter sent to Deputy Smith last night.

The People Before Profit TD said however that more now needed to be done to secure the release of Loujain and other women’s right activists in Saudi Arabia.

She said: “I welcome the action that Minister Coveney has undertaken so far in his engagements with the Saudi Ambassador and Ireland’s actions on the Human Rights Council, the EU Delegation and other channels to date.

“More needs to be done and the pressure needs to be increased on Saudi Arabia to release Loujain and all the women’s rights activists in Saudi. The situation where women are put in jail for merely driving a car is inexcusable, backward and intolerable. Ireland must take the lead on the international stage by speaking out against this despicable treatment of women.”

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