USW Calls for Justice for Saudi Activist Loujain al-Hathloul

Contact: Chelsey Engel,, 412-212-8173

USW Women of Steel and the entire union issued the following statement today in response to reports that Saudi prosecutors are seeking the maximum sentence for Loujain al-Hathloul, who has been imprisoned on charges of terrorism for advocating for women’s rights:

The USW is alarmed, disgusted and outraged at Saudi Arabia’s state prosecutor’s decision to seek the maximum possible jail sentence for women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul.

If convicted, Hathloul, one of Saudi Arabia’s most outspoken human rights activists, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Her activism included calling for an end to the country’s male guardianship system and defying the ban on women’s driving. She has been in prison since May 2018, just before the country’s prohibition on women driving was lifted.

While Saudi Arabia recently instituted a number of social reforms, forced confessions and draconian sentences for those seeking change are unfortunately still a reality.

The USW maintains that peaceful activism is not terrorism. We stand in solidarity with all working to create a better, freer world and call for immediate justice for Loujain al-Hathloul.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education.

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