Four of Saudi King Abdullah’s daughters (he has 38 children) charged he has imprisoned them under house arrest in the palace for 14 years for advocating more freedom for women, eradicating poverty, and release of political prisoners. The oldest sister, Sahar, praised in the jailed martyrs in a video for teaching “the meaning of freedom, rights and dignity from you revolutionary people.” Their mother lives in London and lobbied for their release taught her daughters to fight for their rights. Sahar said in an email interview they’re only allowed to go out twice a month to buy food, heavily guarded. They’re not allowed to marry, the king said to be angry that their mother didn’t give birth to a son and divorced him. When asked about the current status of women, she said women are drugged and put in mental hospitals. She wrote,
Women suffer under a brutal ‘guardianship’ system, akin to slavery. Women cannot move an inch without the approval of male guardians, a clear violation of human rights…. Women are segregated. There are signs that clearly state ‘Women are not allowed in.’ This is also true of men; signs prohibiting ‘single’ men from entering stores and restaurants.[i]
[i] Daniel Wickham, “An Interview with the Imprisoned Daughter of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah,” Muftah, June 2, 2014.