Loujain was first arrested in December 2014 after she tried to drive from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia. She was released after more than 70 days in prison and placed under a travel ban for several months.
In September 2017, the Saudi government announced that the ban on women driving was going to be removed the following June. Loujain received a call before the announcement from an official in the royal court forbidding her from commenting or talking about it on social media.
Loujain moved to the UAE and enrolled into a master’s degree in applied sociological research at Sorbonne University’s Abu Dhabi campus. But in March, she was pulled over by security officers while driving, put on a plane and transferred to a prison in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She was released after a few days but banned from traveling outside the kingdom and warned not to use social media.
Then came her arrest in May. I hoped that Loujain would be released on June 24, the date for removing the ban on women driving. That glorious day arrived when the world saw Saudi women behind the wheel for the first time.
But Loujain was not released.
She has said she had been held in solitary confinement, beaten, waterboarded, given electric shocks, sexually harassed and threatened with rape and murder. nytimes.com