Omar calls for released Saudi women’s rights activist to be allowed to leave country

Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Wednesday called on Saudi Arabia to allow women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul to travel after the activist was released from prison.

Omar, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tweeted that the Saudi government should allow al-Hathloul to leave the country unhindered and move forward with the release of other detained activists.

“While they’re at it, Saudi should stop murdering and dismembering dissidents, allowing marital rape, blockading, starving, and slaughtering thousands of Yemeni civilians, fueling the climate crisis, discriminating against religious minorities and allowing modern day slavery,” the Minnesota Democrat added in another tweet.

Al-Hathloul was released from prison on Wednesday after spending 1,001 days in detention, during which her family says she experienced torture and threats of rape and death.

She was detained in 2018 following her vocal involvement in a successful campaign to extend the right to drive to women in the country.

Omar, who is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in the House, is a longtime critic of the Saudi government and has previously criticized the kingdom over its involvement in the bloody Yemeni civil war as well as the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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