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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Eman al-Nafjan

Detained: May 15, 2018.

Charges: Suspicious contact with foreign parties. Coordinated activity to undermine the security, stability and social peace of the kingdom. Contacting international organizations, foreign media and other activists. Producing something that harms public order, religious values, public morals, the sanctity of private life, or authoring, sending, or storing it via an information network.

Sentence: Not yet sentenced.

Biography: Prominent Saudi Arabian activist Eman Al Nafjan fell victim to the Presidency of Security’s crackdown when she, alongside nine other women’s rights activists, was arrested on May 15, 2018. Al Nafjan had maintained an active Twitter account (@saudiwoman) and online blog (Saudiwoman’s Weblog), informing her readers about daily life, culture, and human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. Known for organizing the October 26th Women to Drive Movement in 2013, she has also made her identity known to the authorities by repeatedly violating the driving ban herself. In a more recent show of activism, Al Nafjan signed a 2016 petition urging King Salman to rescind the country’s male guardianship system.

Although it is known that Al Nafjan and her fellow detainees were transferred to Jiddah from the country’s capital in May, their exact location is unknown. According to the Associated Press, the activists are being held incommunicado and have not been granted access to lawyers. Media outlets in support of the Saudi government have frequently referred to them as “traitors.” Meanwhile, estimates from legal experts indicate that this group may receive up to 20 years in prison and possibly charges of treason. Whereas many Saudi activists have moderated their criticisms of the state, particularly due to coercion or imprisonment, Al Nafjan represented one of the last vocal dissenters in the country’s community of activists. 

She is one of many formerly Detained Women's Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia.

Eman Al Nafjan has been granted TEMPORARY RELEASE. 

Advocacy Partner: Reporters Without Borders