Saudi activists proposed for the Peace Prize

Loujain al-Hathloul Saudi activistsLoujain al-Hathloul is one of the Nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Photo: Facebook

Three Saudi activists proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize

Crosses party lines to honour three imprisoned Saudi activists. Behind the nomination of the activists are prominent Members of Parliament from the Conservatives and the Socialists.

«The Saudi activists have risked their lives to promote respect for human rights and are currently prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia,» writes Karin Andersen (Socialists), Kari Elisabeth Kaski (Socialists) and Heidi Nordby Lunde (Conservatives) in the justification for their joint nomination.

Saudi Arabia is a key country in terms of war and conflict in this part of the world. It is very difficult to imagine that one should be able to have a peaceful development; if democracy and human rights are not respected, Andersen tells NTB.

It’s about possessing forces that can play a conflict-reducing role inside the country. When the conflict reducing voices are imprisoned and gagged, peace work becomes impossible, she believes.

Fight against discrimination

The three nominees are as follows

  • Loujain al-Hathloul. Fights for women to be able to vote at elections, be allowed to drive and, not least, against the oppressive guardianship system, which limits women’s liberties.
  • Abdullah al-Hamid, Professor. One of the founders of the Saudi Arabian organisation ACPRA, which documents the human rights situation and criticises the abuses committed by the authorities. He has also taken the initiative for reforms, including the understanding of Islamic concepts versus human rights. He is awarded the Swedish «Right Livelihood Award» (aka the alternative Nobel Peace Prize).
  • Nassima al-Sada. Work against discrimination against women and the Shiite minority. She has observed litigation and provided legal training to women and the families of prisoners.

Different movements

Heidi Nordby Lunde believes that it is a strength that the three Saudi activists represent different movements.

“That shows that there are several initiatives even in such a strict regime,” she informs NTB.

She admits that especially the gender equality struggle in Saudi Arabia engages her. The video of al-Hathloul attempting to cross the border of Saudi Arabia in her own car, in 2014, made an impression:

Democracy is about cooperation

Lunde believes that the joint nomination from politicians who are very far apart in Norwegian politics is important, as it makes it clear that cooperation is a part of democracy as well.

“Despite deep political disagreements here at home, we agree on the importance of democracy, equality and human rights, both at home and abroad,” she concludes.

The deadline for nominating candidates for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize expired on January 31st, as always.

a cappella variation on the Bob Marley classic : “no woman, no cry”.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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