Personal information

  • Sex: Female
  • Marital status: Married
  • Area of activity: Academic , Human rights activist
  • Place of residence: Riyadh
  • Group:

Aziza al-Yousef taught computer science at King Saud University for 28 years. An active defender of women’s rights, workers’ rights and civil and political rights, she campaigned for abolition of the male guardianship system and was one of the first to call for women to be allowed to drive. She tried to set up a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, but the authorities never approved her registration application.

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Arrest and jail information

  • Prison: Al-Ha’ir Prison, Riyadh
  • Date of arrest: 15 May 2018
  • Manner of arrest: In a raid on her home by heavily armed security officers

Trial information

  • Charges: Recruiting government employees to gather confidential information; providing financial support to foreign entities; communicating with foreign states hostile to Saudi Arabia
  • Court: Criminal Court


  • Arbitrary arrest/ detention ,
  • Denied contact with family ,
  • Torture and ill-treatment

Violation details

Subjected to brutal torture and placed in solitary confinement; denied visits and phone calls for months


  • 18 July 2019 - She was summoned to attend a hearing in the Riyadh Criminal Court.
  • 27 June 2019 - The fourth court hearing was held.
  • 3 April 2019 - The third court hearing was held.
  • 28 March 2019 - She was temporarily released and has been under close surveillance. Her son Salah Al-Haidar was arrested few days later.
  • 27 March 2019 - The second court hearing was held. 
  • 13 March 2019 -  She was brought to trial before the Criminal Court in Riyadh. 
  • 15 May 2018 - She was arrested in a raid on her home by heavily armed security officers

Other prisoners


Aziza al-Yousef

Academic , Human rights activist