Profession: Writer and journalist
Wajeha Al-Huwaider has been subjected to harassment
since May 2003, when she was first banned from publishing. A prominent
Saudi Arabian author and journalist, Al-Huwaider wrote for the Arabic language daily Al-Watan and the English language daily Arab News.
Al-Huwaider writes on political, social and cultural issues in the Arab
world, including women’s rights, the treatment of the Shiite minority,
and relations with the West. She also writers poetry and short stories.
In 2004, she received the PEN/NOVIB Free Expression award.
On 20 September 2006, Al-Huwaider was arrested in her
home by the Saudi secret police and questioned about a protest on
women’s rights she was organising, despite the fact that the protest had
already been cancelled due to fear of reprisals. Before she was
released, Al-Huwaider was forced to sign a statement agreeing to cease
all human rights activism and was also banned from travelling outside
Saudi Arabia. The travel ban was lifted on 28 September.
To read some of Al-Huwaider’s writings, please click here
To read her article ‘Saudi Women Can Drive. Just Let Them’ (published in the Washington Post on 16 August 2009) please click here.
*** UPDATE: 10 July 2009. Wajeha al Huwaider
is currently campaigning to end Saudi Arabia’s strict guardianship laws,
according to which women must get permission from their closest male
relative before doing “the most mundane of tasks”. For more information
on Wajeha’s campaign, please click here. ***
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/writersinexile/wajehaalhuwaider/