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Connolly, Kaine urge Pompeo to call for Aziza Al-Youssef’s immediate release

congressCongressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) sent a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urging him to call for the immediate release of Virginian Aziza Al-Youssef.

Al-Youssef, a U.S. legal permanent resident and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, has been detained in Saudi Arabia since May of 2018 with no access to legal representation. She is currently being held in al-Hair prison, and has shared accounts with the National Human Rights Commission of her torture by electrocution, beatings, and solitary isolation.

The lawmakers described Al-Youssef’s human rights advocacy, which included campaigns to lift the driving ban and repeal male guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia. She has also supported many cases of women survivors of violence and created a fund to support the families of prisoners of conscience.

“Such treatment of Ms. Al-Youssef deprives her of due process and violates her fundamental human rights,” Connolly and Kaine wrote. “The United States must speak out against those who use unjust imprisonment and torture to oppress their own people and Americans. We urge you to call for the immediate release of Ms. Al-Youssef and other unjustly detained women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia.”

augusta free press
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