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Saudi Activist Refuses Trial: “I Will Not Tolerate Women Degradation”

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia
The fifth session of the ongoing trial of Dr. Abdulkareem al-Khudar, a co-founder of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, was held today; and as in the previous session, the judge continued to refuse to allow women to attend the public trial, saying that they shall stay at home.

Last time, when Dr. al-Khudar refused to enter the courtroom without allowing both women and men to attend the trial, the judge issued a four-month arrest warrant. Since then, Dr. al-Khudar has been imprisoned in the Buraydah Public Prison.

A video was uploaded showing him leaving the court building, handcuffed, in which he said:

ما دخلنا السجن إلا طلبا لإصلاح حال هذه الأمة. أسأل الله أن يحقق ذلك أو يميتنا دونه.

I was imprisoned for trying to improve the status of this nation. I pray for this to be achieved, or for me to die trying to achieve it.

Dr. al-Khudar, handcuffed, before the session.

Dr. al-Khudar, handcuffed, after the session, via ACPRATube.


When the judge continued to refuse to allow women to attend (including Dr. al-Khudar's mother and wife), he refused to speak and wrote a note that his lawyer read after the session:

والله لن تضهد المرأة باسم الإسلام بتحريف النصوص عن معناها ومراد الله فيها؛ وأما إن اضهدت باسم النظام فيحاسب من قام بذلك.”

I swear that I will not tolerate women degradation in the name of Islam by twisting verses [of the Quran] to distort the meaning that God intended; and if the degradation is in the name of the law, those who wrote it should be held accountable.

The next trial session will be held next Saturday, May 11.

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia

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