The University of British Columbia is profoundly disappointed by today’s news that Loujain Al-Hathloul has been sentenced to five years and eight months in prison, with two years and 10 months suspended.
Ms. Al-Hathloul, who graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in 2014, was among several women’s rights activists who were arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia in May 2018.
Ms. Al-Hathloul has courageously and selflessly dedicated her life to advocating for human rights and campaigning to advance women’s rights in her home country of Saudi Arabia. She is an exemplar of UBC’s commitment to free speech, equality, empowerment and education, and global citizenship, and an unwavering champion of advancing a just and equitable society.
This week, UBC has written again to Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, to press for Ms. Al-Hathloul’s release and to offer UBC’s assistance. Since Ms. Al-Hathloul’s detainment in 2018, the UBC community has ardently supported and encouraged federal government efforts to seek her release.
During this particularly difficult time, we offer our support to Ms. Al-Hathloul, her family and loved ones, the UBC community and those around the world who are advocating for her release and for equality in Saudi Arabia.
We remain hopeful that Ms. Al-Hathloul will be released imminently and that she will be able to reunite with her family and loved ones, and enjoy personal and political freedoms without the threat of persecution.
Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia