The sister of jailed Saudi activist Loujain Al-Hathloul has called on European golf players to boycott the upcoming tournament in Saudi Arabic.
In a letter sent to the Independent newspaper, Lina Al-Hathloul begged the top players on the Ladies European Tour to show support for her sister’s plight by not attending golfing events in Saudi Arabia scheduled for November.
Nobel Peace Prize nominated Loujain has been detained in Saudi for two years. According to her family’s testimony before Congress, Loujain was subjected to sexual harassment and was threatened with rape by the former adviser to the Saudi royal court, Saud Al-Qahtani, who also faces charges of planning the brutal assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.
In her letter, Lina wrote: “My sister is a women’s rights activist imprisoned and tortured by the Saudi regime. I understand the importance of sports to create links and bridges between different societies.
“However, the current Saudi regime uses sports to whitewash its crimes, to have a window to the West, while maintaining and even worsening women’s conditions inside the country.
Don’t go to Saudi Arabia, don’t help that barbaric regime launder its reputation through your excellence. Stand in solidarity with women’s rights activists. Boycott the Ladies European Tour events in Saudi Arabia.
“I am begging you, as a woman, as a person of conscience and as a role model – please boycott the Saudi women’s tour event.”
Riyadh faces international criticism regarding the lack of freedom of expression and human rights, but has affirmed repeatedly its commitment to “implementing the law with transparency”. Critics have warned that if the law itself is unjust, then this commitment has no real meaning.