Wajeha H. Al-Huwaider, far left, with Phellicia Dell, Rebecca Lolosoli, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tina Brown. (PRNewsFoto/The Daily Beast)
Last week I wrote in this space about the Saudi government’s persecution of the human-rights activists Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni. After a trial that was a mockery of proper legal procedure, the two women were sentenced to ten months in prison followed by a two-year travel ban on trumped up charges of “inciting a wife against her husband.” They say what they were actually doing was bringing groceries to Nathalie Morin, a Canadian married to a Saudi whom she has said is abusive and leaves her in the house without sufficient food for her children. Morin, whose case is well-known in both Canada and Saudi Arabia, was not allowed to testify at the trial.
Now Morin has told the truth on her blog:
The charges against Wajeha Al Huwaider must be cleared, she has not asked to be involved in my story and she should not suffer the consequences. She never knew me and knew nothing about me. She only wanted to help me as a woman, a wife, a mother and human being herself from what she heard by others. She never tried to make any kind of interference in my relationship with my husband and she never had a discussion directly with me.
Muslims for Progressive Values, an excellent Canadian group, is calling for people to contact Thomas MacDonald, the Canadian ambassador in Riyadh at firstname.lastname@example.org. Urge him to get Nathalie Morin to repeat this exculpation in a formal legal document, making sure to include Fawzia Al-Oyouni, as well. It should be signed by her and stamped by the Canadian Embassy.
Even if you are not Canadian, you can help put pressure on the ambassador to do the right thing.
More information here.
Read the backstory about how Wajeha Al-Huwaider was sentenced to prison.