Jun 27, 2021 - World

Prominent women's rights activists released in Saudi Arabia

Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and a Saudi women's right activist

First lady Michelle Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pose with Samar Badawi of Saudi Arabia as she receives the 2012 International Women of Courage Award in 2012. Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

Two women's rights activists are free, nearly three years after Saudi Arabia arrested them during a government crackdown on dissent, the London-based Saudi rights group ALQST announced on Sunday.

Why it matters: The international community condemned the detention of Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah back in summer 2018.

  • Badawi and Sadah had campaigned for women to have the right to drive and to end the country's male guardianship system. They were among at least a dozen other women’s rights activists to face prosecution during that time.
  • In 2012, Badawi received the International Women of Courage Award, which was presented to her by then-first lady Michelle Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • Badawi's sister is the writer Raif Badawi, who was publicly lashed and arrested in 2012 for critical blog posts about Saudi clerics.
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