We are heartened to learn that UBC alumna Loujain Al-Hathloul was released from prison today in Saudi Arabia.
Ms. Al-Hathloul, who graduated from UBC in 2014, has dedicated her life to campaigning to advance women’s rights in her home country. She was arrested and detained in May 2018 along with several other women’s rights activists, and was ultimately sentenced to five years and eight months in prison, with two years and 10 months suspended.
While the UBC community is relieved by news of her release, Ms. Al-Hathloul will likely remain in Saudi Arabia under probation and a travel ban while she awaits the appeals process. 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.
We thank all the people, organizations, and governments around the world who brought attention to Ms. Al-Hathloul’s case. We remain committed to offering our support for her family and loved ones both in advocating for her release and for equality in Saudi Arabia – the goals she has so bravely pursued. We hope she will be able to reunite with her family soon.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor