March 29, 2019

Kaine Statement On Saudi Release Of Three Women's Rights Activists

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, released the following statement following Saudi Arabia’s temporary release of three women's rights activists, including Aziza al-Youssef, a U.S. legal permanent resident and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University:

“I’m relieved that Aziza al-Youssef, Iman al-Nafjan, and Ruqayyaa al-Mhareb have been released. But I remain concerned about the unjust charges against them. These three women were separated from their families, tortured, and imprisoned for their work to promote women’s rights. Their imprisonment – and the continued imprisonment of other women and political dissidents in Saudi Arabia – is a violation of basic human rights. I call on the Saudi authorities to drop these charges immediately and unconditionally. The U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia will remain deeply damaged until there is a dramatic improvement in the nation’s treatment of all women, political dissidents, and journalists and true accountability for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.”

Kaine has been outspoken against the Saudi-sponsored murder of Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi and the imprisonment of women’s rights activists, including Aziza al-Youssef. In March, Kaine urged Secretary Pompeo to call for the immediate release of al-Youssef.