Al-Hathloul’s conditional release on Wednesday is the latest in a series of gestures by the kingdom’s de facto leader.
The release of a prominent female activist this week is Saudi Arabia’s latest gesture to curry favor with the Biden administration. Will it work?
Under intense American and international pressure, Saudi Arabia has released from prison Loujain al-Hathloul, who led the charge for women to drive in the kingdom. But far more is at stake than the fate of the country’s most prominent feminist activist, or that of other women and male activists who are not famous and still languish in Saudi jails.
Al-Hathloul’s conditional release on Wednesday after serving 1,001 days in prison and allegations that she was tortured is the latest in a series of gestures by the kingdom’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to shore up a badly strained relationship with Washington in the wake of President Joe Biden’s election.
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