UBC alumna and activist Loujain al-Hathloul released after 1,001 days in Saudi prison

Loujain al-Hathloul, a UBC graduate and women’s rights activist, has been released following 1,001 days in Saudi Arabian prison.

Al-Hathloul’s sister tweeted a picture of Loujain on Wednesday following Loujain’s release.

In December, Al-Hathloul was sentenced to almost six years in prison under a broad Saudi Arabian counter-terrorism law. She had previously advocated for the women’s right to drive in the country.

Despite her release, Al-Hathloul is still subject to a five-year travel ban and three years of probation.

UBC President Santa Ono released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying he was “relieved” to hear the news that Al-Hathloul had been released.

“Our collective hope is she will one day be able to enjoy personal and political freedoms in her home country without the threat of persecution,” he wrote.

The #StudentsForLoujain campaign, a coalition of Canadian student unions spearheaded by the AMS, Graduate Student Society and Students’ Union Okanagan of UBC, wrote in a press release that they “welcome the news of Loujain’s release with great joy.”

“[The] #StudentsForLoujain Campaign will continue to advocate for justice for Loujain until she is free and not subject to injustice,” the press release reads. UBC released a statement in late December condemning Al-Hathloul’s sentencing and said it had written to Canada’s minister of foreign affairs on the issue.

“Loujain, we look forward to welcoming you to your alma mater whenever circumstances allow. You are an inspiration to many of us,” the campaign wrote in the release.