Artwork for podcast Like It Is
Lina Alhathloul: Sister of Loujain Who Was Imprisoned & Tortured by Saudis
Episode 313th June 2022 • Like It Is • Lisa Cornwell
00:00:00 00:33:44

Share Episode

Shownotes

Lina AlHathloul is the youngest sister of Loujain. Since her older sister was detained in May 2018, alongside more than a dozen other women human rights defenders, Lina has become one of the few family members able and willing to speak out on behalf of an incarcerated relative. A lawyer by training, Lina has become a tireless advocate for her sister and has spoken to numerous media outlets, at international events and gatherings, and to representatives of the U.S. government and the United Nations.

They discuss:

00:19 - Introduction to Lina

00:53 - What was it like growing up as a girl in Saudi Arabia with a guardianship system?

02:50 - Once she moved away from the country, Lina explains what it was like to experience life in a free country for the first time.

04:15 - Lisa gives background on Loujain being imprisoned for 1,001 days and what she experienced during that time.

04:48 - Lina explains the moment her sister was kidnapped in the UAE and the course of events that led to her unlawful imprisonment.

09:16 - Lina describes in further detail exactly what happened to her sister Loujain while being held in the torture facility–beatings, electric shock therapy, waterboarding, sexual abuse and the man who ordered it all–MBS's right hand man, Saud al-Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

11:53 - How did her release come about? Lina explains how her sister was labeled as a traitor with signs bearing her face placed around the capital city with those stamped on them. MBS claims Loujain was communicating with enemy states but not produced any of the evidence he claimed to posses.

15:41 - Lina talks about how her sister was offered an early release if she made a video statement saying she was never tortured or harassed while imprisoned, which Loujain refused to do.

17:03 - What is Loujain doing now? Lina describes her sister's five-year travel ban, how people around her are targeted, being isolated and how she lives in constant fear.

18:10 - Lisa asks Lina about an article she recently tweeted about regarding the care houses and how women who report their abusers (rape victims, incest, physical abuse) are held in these facilities and tortured for months before being released back to their male abusers.

20:04 - In 2020, Lina wrote a letter to members of the Ladies European Tour begging them not to participate in any Saudi government sponsored tournaments (Aramco Series). She explains what prompted her to write the letter and discusses the dangers sportswashing poses to all Saudi women.

24:25 - Lisa asks Lina what her message would be to LPGA players currently wearing the "Golf Saudi" logo and accepting MBS's blood money.

26:51 - Does it give MBS power when players from the West support his sportswashing efforts?

27:56 - Lina responds to Greg Norman's comments about life for women in Saudi Arabia getting better because he's seen them in restaurants. She also reacts to Lee Westwood's claims that life is improving for women and people in Saudi.

29:51 - What's the future for women in Saudi under MBS?

30:23 - Lisa asks Lina how concerned she is for her sister's safety. Lina goes into detail about the travel ban, continued torture, her sister's phone being targeted with spyware, being followed and harassed.

31:55 - How about her own personal safety? She talks about why speaking out will always help her sister and she doesn't have the luxury to remain silent.

32:57 - Thank you...

Transcripts

[Lina Alhathloul]:

yeah

cornwell]:

stay on with me for a few seconds don't hang up immediately because it takes

cornwell]:

a minute for it to process and then it'll be ready

[Lina Alhathloul]:

m right

cornwell]:

ready

[Lina Alhathloul]:

all right

cornwell]:

okay

[Lina Alhathloul]:

oh

cornwell]:

yeah welcome i think that this will be one of the most important interviews that

cornwell]:

we do in quite some time a lot of the talk about live golf in

cornwell]:

the aram coast series on the ladies european tour and the conversation seems to be

cornwell]:

shifting to the wrong things in my opinion at this point and that's why i'm

cornwell]:

really thrilled to welcome in our guest today lina hath thank you so much for

cornwell]:

you time your sister lusine who spent one thousand and one days in a saudi

cornwell]:

prison

[Lina Alhathloul]:

yeah

cornwell]:

and i wanted to connect with you and i appreciate your doing this because you're

cornwell]:

brave i've read so much about your story your sister's story your background

[Lina Alhathloul]:

yeah

cornwell]:

but this conversation with live golf this conversation with a ram co it's focused on

cornwell]:

money it's focused on sports you bring a human aspect to it and so i

cornwell]:

want to dive into your story i want to start though because you grew up

cornwell]:

in sally what was it like for a young girl growing up in south arabia

[Lina Alhathloul]:

um that's a very difficult question because when we're there we don't really see you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

know we don't really feel

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the difference is once we know what freedom is that we

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

are actually we agree is the kind of prison that it is so actually in

[Lina Alhathloul]:

south arabia i was living there

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

when women were not allowed to drive yet so i was always with with a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

driver whether a male relative or a stranger so i was always with a man

[Lina Alhathloul]:

which is always also sometimes dangerous to be with

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

strangers in a car the second thing is that there's the mail guardianship system so

[Lina Alhathloul]:

for every decision even my mom had to have the consent of my father for

[Lina Alhathloul]:

know even for traveling i mean member my father being overwhelmed with all these procedures

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

because he had to sign and give his consent for us to only go on

[Lina Alhathloul]:

vacation because we're women so yeah everything i mean i was very lucky to be

[Lina Alhathloul]:

honest to have this family where they would give their consent to everything they would

[Lina Alhathloul]:

allow me to play sports they would let you know have

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

classes like child children

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

everywhere in the world but i would

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i mean i was seeing the unfortunate kids you know women who were not as

[Lina Alhathloul]:

lucky i wasn't weren't privileged as i was to have this this kind of male

[Lina Alhathloul]:

relatives who

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

were open enough to allow the women to to swim to go to classes

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to eve study so yeah it was heartbreaking to see that i was lucky and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

we needed luck to just have a normal life basically

cornwell]:

so you said you didn't really derstand what it was like until you experience freedom

cornwell]:

what was

[Lina Alhathloul]:

yeah

cornwell]:

the difference once you did experience that

[Lina Alhathloul]:

well the difference is that you don't know how powerful

cornwell]:

so

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you can be actually you know you just i mean for example my sister i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

think that she realized that from a very young age she can bring change i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

honestly i wasn't as brave

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and

cornwell]:

was

[Lina Alhathloul]:

look as open as her to realize that before

cornwell]:

realized

[Lina Alhathloul]:

experiencing it you know once you're here you don't have to have the consent of

[Lina Alhathloul]:

anyone to study to work you you even realize that it's also responsibilities that you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that imposed

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

upon you and this is very empowering i would say this is something that you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

do not have back there even very no custody

cornwell]:

he

[Lina Alhathloul]:

women don't have their choice for custody over their child and um i mean i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

was also here in in europe when my sister was first arrested and even for

[Lina Alhathloul]:

her release which was very shocking for me too um to be informed about that

[Lina Alhathloul]:

is that for her release she had to have the consent of a male relative

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to leave prison so yeah i

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

really you know i started realizing all of that once my sister really was active

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and once i was here abroad doing my studies

cornwell]:

so reading on your sister's store and again i mentioned one thousand and one days

cornwell]:

in a county prison and she was listed as a terrorist because she was an

cornwell]:

activist a campaigner for women to have the right to drive for the release of

cornwell]:

the guardianship system you have talked in detail as she has about what she went

cornwell]:

through during those one thousand and one days subject electric shop therapy water boarding sexual

cornwell]:

abuse floggings that day let's go back to march of twenty eight team and and

cornwell]:

you find out that your sister has been taken into house custody correct that happened

cornwell]:

for a couple o months before prison what was your reaction to it

[Lina Alhathloul]:

okay so i think yeah try to be brief but so basically my sister was

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in active she had been imprisoned a first time in two thousand fourteen for trying

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to drive in south arabia and because she was imprisoned and in what is called

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a care house so basically in south arabia there it's what's called a care house

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it is basically prisons for women who are disobedient or who are under thirty and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

have committed a real crime when you're a woman in south arabia and your male

[Lina Alhathloul]:

guardian considers that whatever behavior you have can be considered as be disobedient him you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

can be imprisoned in this care house and leave it only with the consent of

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a male guardian so when eugene tried to drive in two thousand fourteen she was

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in prisoned in that carehouseon when she went out of it she realized that the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

problem actually is not only about driving in salts about the whole guardianship

cornwell]:

horse

[Lina Alhathloul]:

system that imprisoned imprisoned women based on the arbitrary opinion of a mild who considers

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a woman to be disobedient so once she went out of prison she continued her

[Lina Alhathloul]:

activism but she brought

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that and she she was trying to dismantle the guardianship system which is many laws

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that

cornwell]:

he

[Lina Alhathloul]:

imprisons or you know submits women to to a man and

cornwell]:

hey

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i think that's real the moment where it got a bit very stressed frustrating for

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the authorities that she's not only about driving she's also about you know being free

[Lina Alhathloul]:

basically from s and so in february two thousand eighteen she was in geneva the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

human rights council and she was observing

cornwell]:

and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the official south so the delegation that was talking about the improvements of women's rights

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in south arabia and she was tweating life about it countering

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

their their narrative basically and so she got back to the middle east and she

[Lina Alhathloul]:

used to live in the u and the mats back then and when she went

[Lina Alhathloul]:

back to the u she was kidnapped so she was driving her car from the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

dbitoabuabi she was kidnapped in the middle of the highway in the middle of the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

day she was put in a private plane she was brought back to south against

[Lina Alhathloul]:

her will and in south arabia she

cornwell]:

this

[Lina Alhathloul]:

was in prison for a couple of days and then she was released and put

[Lina Alhathloul]:

on a travel band so she couldn't leave sad and then in may two thousand

[Lina Alhathloul]:

eighteen that's when they broke into her house it may be important

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

point is that before they broke into our house when she was this period where

[Lina Alhathloul]:

she was under a travel ban the row a court had called her saying that

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they're about to to lift the driving band and they're about to let a woman

[Lina Alhathloul]:

drive but she is not supposed to comment on it set now is supposed to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

tweet about it and not even applaud the decision just to stay silent

cornwell]:

just a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

but of course she she had to agree on i mean she was on a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

travel band their husband many there had been so many arrest wave arrest on intellectual

[Lina Alhathloul]:

academics royals before her so she said okay the atmosphere is a bit tense now

[Lina Alhathloul]:

will of course you know do whatever you ask me to do but nevertheless they

[Lina Alhathloul]:

broke into our house they took logan she was forcibly disappeared for less than a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

month and then she called and she said that she was in a hotel and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

honestly we felt relieved we thought that it was

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

actually hotel back then and then later on no she only had calls and then

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the first visit started when she was brought bac to the official prison and that's

[Lina Alhathloul]:

when we found

cornwell]:

and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

out

cornwell]:

that

[Lina Alhathloul]:

about what this hotel was actually it was your facility

cornwell]:

what and i can't imagine how painful it is for you to talk about it

cornwell]:

i read that your parents actually saw her and of course the satis did not

cornwell]:

want this out that they wanted to restrict kind of information that she indeed was

cornwell]:

being tortured but your parents saw it first hand they saw her body they saw

cornwell]:

the physical shape that she was in how has she described that to you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i'm sorry it's always very difficult

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it's

cornwell]:

take

[Lina Alhathloul]:

been years but it's always

cornwell]:

m

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the same so basically um that torture facility it's a hotel or a palace and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they would

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

men would be sitting on just with one detain in the middle who would be

[Lina Alhathloul]:

on a chair

cornwell]:

on a chair

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and of course you know and

cornwell]:

of our

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the important also note is that so

cornwell]:

dust

[Lina Alhathloul]:

one of the men who was imposing all this torture is the right hand man

[Lina Alhathloul]:

of the crown prince srdegatani who is also involved in the case of haakon killing

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a fresh and who's involved in also the twitter spice

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

he's the one who's

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

who had led the campaign to have spice and twitter to

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

arrest out is basically so he is really the core of the problem and he's

[Lina Alhathloul]:

still very active even though it's behind the scenes but yes so eugene was sitting

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in the middle if this room and they would come and you know sexually harass

[Lina Alhathloul]:

her they would insult her and then of course it gets more and more they

[Lina Alhathloul]:

beat her they like repute her the water boarded her

cornwell]:

walk

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you know when the torture session was over because you know the they order and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that comes

cornwell]:

for

[Lina Alhathloul]:

from i think human right to watch we read this

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

later the order was not to kill them so when they were about to faint

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they would stop and bring them back to tother to their rooms and at night

[Lina Alhathloul]:

of course

cornwell]:

and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they also were depriving eugene and the others of sleep they would come and just

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you know scare them make make sure that they're really scared just shaking them up

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you know threatening them with another torture session and yes this is what this was

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the case for approximately the three first months

cornwell]:

ah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

oh

cornwell]:

how did her release come about

[Lina Alhathloul]:

this is

cornwell]:

this

[Lina Alhathloul]:

how did her release come about so you know i think it's also important to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

understand how so the authorities deal with activists now so basically when eugene was arrested

[Lina Alhathloul]:

there was a huge deformation campaign on social media and on some of the outlet

[Lina Alhathloul]:

on aper where her face and the other activist face were stamped with traitor

cornwell]:

with

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and they were saying that

cornwell]:

and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they were traitors because they were communicating with enemy states a and at the very

[Lina Alhathloul]:

beginning we didn't know what they meant we didn't know you know who they were

[Lina Alhathloul]:

referring to but what we used to see on social media is that the bolts

[Lina Alhathloul]:

are the accounts that are close to the government they used to say that he

[Lina Alhathloul]:

was an agent of a and back then sad and tar were not friends they

[Lina Alhathloul]:

had a diplomatic crisis and anyway so okay

cornwell]:

anyway

[Lina Alhathloul]:

agent of a give us some evidence nothing came

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and even the crown prince when he had an interview with bloomberry back in two

[Lina Alhathloul]:

thousand eighteen when they asked him what

cornwell]:

eh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

are the charges of eugene he said that she is an agent and that he

[Lina Alhathloul]:

has videos that he can show the day after the interview nothing came and then

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a year later the trial starts the trial starts and what we see that the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

charges

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

surprisingly men mentioned her contact with the uk

cornwell]:

a i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

with the netherlands with the

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and is international with human right to watch

cornwell]:

you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

so nothing about kata nothing about a real enemy you know nothing about

cornwell]:

m

[Lina Alhathloul]:

ran or whatever and so

cornwell]:

m

[Lina Alhathloul]:

we question ourselves we see you say okay so this new reformer who is praised

[Lina Alhathloul]:

by the west actually considers them as enemies and because we made

cornwell]:

and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that public because you know the atmosphere of fere makes it that no one talks

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in south arabia any more no one had dared even to say that their relative

[Lina Alhathloul]:

was in prison and when we decided to stop publish the charges to say look

[Lina Alhathloul]:

this is what rugen is accused of she's literally accused of her activism i think

[Lina Alhathloul]:

there there has been some diplomatic you know

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

advocacy and uk was removed

cornwell]:

you can't raise it

[Lina Alhathloul]:

so they left eugene being a traitor because she's in contact with the u and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the netherlands and amnesty of course and human right to watch and also because she

[Lina Alhathloul]:

was at the at the u n at the human rights council of the u

[Lina Alhathloul]:

so these are the charges and i mean we have posted everything on

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

our website everything is translated so for whoever is interested the website is luginehavol a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

uh and there's the page that has all the trial so leugian's defense is to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

say that all the charges that she's accused of nothing is a crime based on

[Lina Alhathloul]:

even say law international law

cornwell]:

m

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and also in sad law but

cornwell]:

m

[Lina Alhathloul]:

she was still condemned sentenced to five years and eight months but with with approbation

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and that probation makes it that what whatever you know

cornwell]:

ah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

she does could be considered as a crime and she can get imprisoned any time

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and she's also not allowed to speak to journalists she's not allowed to speak about

[Lina Alhathloul]:

her experience in prison and she has a five year travel band

cornwell]:

and they actually wanted or gave her the option to be released sooner correct they

cornwell]:

wanted her to say initially in a statement that she wasn't beaten she wasn't tortured

cornwell]:

and then they wanted to go on camera

[Lina Alhathloul]:

absolutely

cornwell]:

of all the admirable things that your sister did in my opinion that was one

cornwell]:

of the most because she wanted that story out there how did she make that

cornwell]:

cision

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i mean you know lugena is someone who's really selfless everything she does she does

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it for the generations to come she never really thinks about herself first and i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

think that when she decides it's not to

cornwell]:

to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to do this and to to deny the torture she has been subjected to she

[Lina Alhathloul]:

thought about the other activist as well because if she denies it then they will

[Lina Alhathloul]:

make it a denial for everyone and for they can continue with other you know

[Lina Alhathloul]:

other people arrest them torture them and whenever if they complain

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

about it you know they will have eugen s an evidence to say no look

[Lina Alhathloul]:

she denied

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it so you're all liars so i think it was it was about the others

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and making sure that you know it cannot be yeah it cannot be xperienced by

[Lina Alhathloul]:

other activists again and she she wanted really to have some kind of accountability to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

what is happening and of course they keep denying the torture

cornwell]:

good for her what's she doing now

[Lina Alhathloul]:

so now she

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

is allowed to work not all the activists who have been released are allowed to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

work but i think because of her profile it would be too difficult for them

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to deprive her work but the thing is you know the target people around her

[Lina Alhathloul]:

so the center she she works for the president of the center has been forcibly

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the set just after she started working and we see yeah of course you know

[Lina Alhathloul]:

she's a bit isolated i would say because they don't want people you know it

[Lina Alhathloul]:

an official charge basically to be in contact with rugen so it's a

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it's a very she lives in constant fear but she's still very strong

cornwell]:

linda reading the story on your sister was difficult enough and i've read a lot

cornwell]:

of the articles that you've posted on twitter it almost becomes more difficult because you're

cornwell]:

very open and you say it really eloquently that that over here in the west

cornwell]:

we think that that m b s is progressive he tries to display those those

cornwell]:

sorts of things you recently posted an article

[Lina Alhathloul]:

oh

cornwell]:

and it's interesting because this whole guardianship issue is still on going you talked about

cornwell]:

women who who are in these sort of hidaways for lack of a better word

cornwell]:

and if they report rape they report incest they report physical abuse that they are

cornwell]:

actually punished and their abusers have control over them is still the guardianship system how

cornwell]:

much is the west being filled by the propaganda that m b s is trying

cornwell]:

to spread

[Lina Alhathloul]:

well i think lisa

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to be honest there is the ones who are being full they're just turning a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

blind eye on what is happening there is too

cornwell]:

serious

[Lina Alhathloul]:

much evidence of who he is and what south

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

arabia is now i mean i can understand

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that at the very beginning when he was you know named crowned prince

cornwell]:

to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and you know he had all this now rative about women's rites women driving opening

[Lina Alhathloul]:

up the country to foreign business i can understand but

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

after a couple of years when the murderer of a with the murder of his

[Lina Alhathloul]:

with the war in yemen with the diplomatic crisis in nat with the arrest of

[Lina Alhathloul]:

all the activists and the and the

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

torture of women in prisons with the arrest and imprisonment of the prime minister of

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a sov sovereign country that is lebanon i mean there are too much evidence to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

say that

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

we can believe that he is open and he's a real reformer

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i think that now the people who still continue to have this narrative are just

[Lina Alhathloul]:

too interested they are consciously turning a blind eye to what is happening in the

cornwell]:

what

[Lina Alhathloul]:

country yeah

cornwell]:

and unfortunately right now a lot of that is happening with golf i want to

cornwell]:

turn our attention to that before we get into the live golf in the ram

cornwell]:

co can women play golf in south arabia

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i think they can

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

but again what i'm saying is that it's not about sports per se it's about

[Lina Alhathloul]:

using sports to hide the repression

cornwell]:

right

[Lina Alhathloul]:

inside country yes

cornwell]:

so in october twenty twenty he wrote a very powerful letter and this is how

cornwell]:

i first

[Lina Alhathloul]:

oh

cornwell]:

i introduced to you because i read the letter and it's the entire letter is

cornwell]:

just absolutely beautiful because it spells out exactly why you were pleading with the ladies

cornwell]:

european or players not to participate in the ram co series it is something that

cornwell]:

i'm passionate about we're watching this live golf scene and it involves men hundreds of

cornwell]:

millions of dollars that fits absolute no business model but the ladies european tour has

cornwell]:

actually forced this upon these players and so saying no to certain tournaments is really

cornwell]:

difficult if they want to continue their livelihoods how did you find out about this

cornwell]:

and and what was behind the plea that you put out in the letter

[Lina Alhathloul]:

well i've know since

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

since crown prince mamadbinsaman has been using the strategy of you now sports washing i've

[Lina Alhathloul]:

been really interested in that end i think that again i do not want to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

be

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

unfair with the sad people i don't want them to be sanctioned twice i don't

[Lina Alhathloul]:

want them to be deprived of sports what i'm saying is that the crown prince

cornwell]:

as

[Lina Alhathloul]:

is using you know public figures to continue and to hide his repression inside of

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the country the very evidence of that is that no one who is going to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

south arabia can

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

say anything about what they know in the country so this is

cornwell]:

this

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the

cornwell]:

is

[Lina Alhathloul]:

very evidence of them being used as a window dressing of what is happening inside

[Lina Alhathloul]:

of the country just to be clear so cram prince hambinsamancams he does a clue

[Lina Alhathloul]:

against i'm sorry to be political but it is a bit so he does

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a c against

cornwell]:

he

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you know the one who is supposed to be crown prince he imprisons all the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

people from there a family who are not accepting him and

cornwell]:

the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to basically to gain legitimacy because he doesn't have any within the royal family and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

within the people who didn't choose him he need the western world

cornwell]:

east

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to

cornwell]:

western

[Lina Alhathloul]:

accept him

cornwell]:

world

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and he knows how to get

cornwell]:

you know

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the western world to accept him is by having this narrative of accepting women

cornwell]:

yeh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

of you know not accepting women reforming the laws for women and opening the country

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to concerts and sports and concerts and sports is the very

cornwell]:

men

[Lina Alhathloul]:

topic you know

cornwell]:

so

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the very field by which he can show himself as as a reformer this is

[Lina Alhathloul]:

why i think that whoever is involved in sports western people who are involved in

[Lina Alhathloul]:

sports in south arabia either they

cornwell]:

ye

[Lina Alhathloul]:

go and they speak about what is going on because they know that you know

[Lina Alhathloul]:

just for them to see if they see one person criticising the crown prince or

[Lina Alhathloul]:

whatever is happening if they see one person even naming my sister it's impossible we

[Lina Alhathloul]:

are in an absolute police state where people

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

have

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

been silenced where no one speaks and whoever speaks is imprisoned and disappeared so you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

know the this

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

idea of south arabia opening up because there are sports it's not true it is

[Lina Alhathloul]:

true that you know women now can play more sports but it doesn't mean that

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they're more free whoever their male guardian can

cornwell]:

right

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you know can

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

do whatever he was doing before m b s and even worse than this is

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that you know whoever speaks is in prison so for us

cornwell]:

for

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you know

cornwell]:

us

[Lina Alhathloul]:

having this kind

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

tournaments inside rab not only you know hides the abuses but it enables them because

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it allows m b s to be even more powerful and show himself as a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

reform and you know there the man of the situation who is changing things so

[Lina Alhathloul]:

yeah this is why my message was clear you know there is a responsibility because

[Lina Alhathloul]:

these violations are able with sports with concerts with social reforms so

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i don't know if i answered their question with

cornwell]:

you did you did excuse me one thing that is that is difficult for me

cornwell]:

and listening to your story reading about your sister's story makes it even more difficult

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to

cornwell]:

i've been talking about this this whole topic and i expect that it will get

cornwell]:

worse and this is why i wanted to have you on i hope that players

cornwell]:

or this especially the female players there are women on the l p g a

cornwell]:

tour who wear a golf salty logo

[Lina Alhathloul]:

oh

cornwell]:

a golf salty logo and you're explaining how this repressive regime under m b s

cornwell]:

has not only continued but in a sense is getting worse because of the whole

cornwell]:

facade that he's trying to do what would you message be lina to those women

cornwell]:

who have that logo or thinking about wearing the logo and accepting this kind of

cornwell]:

money

[Lina Alhathloul]:

my message is clear i think that we should remember that south arabia is not

[Lina Alhathloul]:

m b

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

s and

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

wearing this logo

cornwell]:

were the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

only represents so for them to be fair they should be speaking about my sister

[Lina Alhathloul]:

luga they should be speaking about all the women rights activist who are either still

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in prison or under a travel band they should be talking

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

about the mail

cornwell]:

should

[Lina Alhathloul]:

gardenship

cornwell]:

be

[Lina Alhathloul]:

system they should be talking about these

cornwell]:

they should

[Lina Alhathloul]:

care

cornwell]:

be

[Lina Alhathloul]:

homes otherwise what they're being used and i know they

cornwell]:

no

[Lina Alhathloul]:

do not like to be to hear

cornwell]:

not

[Lina Alhathloul]:

this

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

but they are b in complicit to what is happening

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they are enabling this repression so just to be fair with them and constant with

[Lina Alhathloul]:

their message because i guess that they wear this and so art you know they

[Lina Alhathloul]:

think that i think most of them think that they're doing good thing that you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

know there may be trying to make the country improve that they're bridge that the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

yeah they're linking continents and you know that sports is is a door to to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to more solidarity to morrow two improvements but this is not the case in south

[Lina Alhathloul]:

so just for their for their message to be fair i think that they have

[Lina Alhathloul]:

a duty to speak about women's rights active to speak about women's rights and souter

[Lina Alhathloul]:

yeah and also to make sure that when they go there to to feel the

[Lina Alhathloul]:

real atmosphere and to see that actually it is a dictatorship where no one can

[Lina Alhathloul]:

speak

cornwell]:

does this give m b s more power and if so how dangerous is that

[Lina Alhathloul]:

absolutely he

cornwell]:

i see

[Lina Alhathloul]:

wouldn't have any power without this soft power actually this is all he has now

[Lina Alhathloul]:

for his own legitimacy because now no one wants him so of course it does

[Lina Alhathloul]:

give him more legitimacy it does empower him it does embolden him and it does

[Lina Alhathloul]:

increase the repression inside the country and i must say something

cornwell]:

and

[Lina Alhathloul]:

as well as that m b s and again we're being political but he's not

[Lina Alhathloul]:

only you know dangerous for the sad people i mean we've seen it in so

[Lina Alhathloul]:

many cases that you know the transnational repression

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

that he is the core of is it's very dangerous and i don't think we

[Lina Alhathloul]:

want to enable and embolden someone like m b s who maybe will become a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

new basha

cornwell]:

i was

[Lina Alhathloul]:

who can who won't be stopped in a fifteen years time so i think that

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it's our duty now to act and not to be short sighted and what we

[Lina Alhathloul]:

do

cornwell]:

lina greg norman recently made a ridiculous statement and they were talking about the situation

cornwell]:

for women in sally he said well i've been there and i've seen women in

cornwell]:

restaurants le westwood who is golfer and committed to this live golf tour actually claimed

cornwell]:

that things are getting better for women in saudi how do you react to that

cornwell]:

knowing what is taking place today knowing the stories of these these imprisoned camps where

cornwell]:

women are currently being held because there doesn't seem to be any sort of progress

cornwell]:

in fact it seems to be taking sort of a backwards pedal since m b

cornwell]:

s tried to claim that this guardianship system was gone

[Lina Alhathloul]:

well what

cornwell]:

m

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i can say is that i don't think he's in the right place to to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to say what the situation

cornwell]:

what

[Lina Alhathloul]:

of women

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

is in south arabia i think that it's up south women to choose what they

[Lina Alhathloul]:

want and we have seen that towards the women try to choose what they want

[Lina Alhathloul]:

they get tortured

cornwell]:

they

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in prisons so

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

being in a restaurant and seeing women think i don't think it's a sign of

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the country opening up i think that you know the first thing to do is

[Lina Alhathloul]:

maybe

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to speak to women who have who are experiencing the repression south arabia and to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

to see with them whether they they're they're satisfied with with the reforms

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

or not and i think that it might be impossible to get

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

anyone who might criticize the reform so called reforms because of the repression inside of

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the country so

cornwell]:

oh

[Lina Alhathloul]:

maybe if you can speak to eugene

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

or to the women's rights

cornwell]:

yeah

[Lina Alhathloul]:

active who have been released which he won't because they're not allowed to speak to

[Lina Alhathloul]:

anyone then he can

cornwell]:

a

[Lina Alhathloul]:

have a real idea of of what is really going on and what you know

[Lina Alhathloul]:

women women's rights looks like in today

cornwell]:

what's the future for women under n b s

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i think the

cornwell]:

in saudi

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the future of women and under m b s is if they applaud him and

cornwell]:

as

[Lina Alhathloul]:

if they are they don't say that today they don't agree with what is going

[Lina Alhathloul]:

on they might be okay but if someone as brave as

cornwell]:

so

[Lina Alhathloul]:

eugene speaks then the future would would be torture and maybe death sometimes

cornwell]:

he is i just want i want to finish with this these these last couple

cornwell]:

of questions how concerned are you for your sister not just now but but looking

cornwell]:

ahead she seems to be a born activist she seems to be outspoken in the

cornwell]:

most wonderful way obviously there still has to be concern for you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

solutely

cornwell]:

and your family

[Lina Alhathloul]:

absolutely you know lisa the travel

cornwell]:

he

[Lina Alhathloul]:

band i mean which country

cornwell]:

she don't

[Lina Alhathloul]:

sanctions you with a travel band where you cannot leave the country usually they just

[Lina Alhathloul]:

make want you to leave the country they don't want you to come back it's

[Lina Alhathloul]:

because they know that hell inside the inside of the country they know that keeping

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you inside is a kind of torture so of course i'm super concerned for my

[Lina Alhathloul]:

sister you know she has been harassed

cornwell]:

sis

[Lina Alhathloul]:

and intimidated

cornwell]:

but

[Lina Alhathloul]:

in an unprecedented level since she since her release even you know she has been

[Lina Alhathloul]:

tarigated with pegasus her phone is always hacked they want to show her that you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

know she is being followed that whatever she does she will get imprisoned and again

cornwell]:

yes

[Lina Alhathloul]:

whenever m b s is empowered or re em or the rehabilitated she most probably

[Lina Alhathloul]:

will be in prison

cornwell]:

you all

[Lina Alhathloul]:

now it's because

cornwell]:

this

[Lina Alhathloul]:

there has been international pressure that he had to concede this at least once you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

know he will be a if he ever gets rehabilitated

cornwell]:

you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the fate of lugena will be the one of two thousand eighteen i have no

[Lina Alhathloul]:

doubt of that

cornwell]:

what about your own safety do you ever worry about speaking out or do you

cornwell]:

worry about

[Lina Alhathloul]:

speak

cornwell]:

you speaking out and any impact that it might have on lusine

[Lina Alhathloul]:

one thing i'm sure of is that if i speak speaking out will always save

[Lina Alhathloul]:

lucile because it's silence now has been the norm and you know without me speaking

[Lina Alhathloul]:

people would believe him yes instead so i don't have this luxury of choosing if

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i fear for my safety to be honest i live in belgium i'm in europe

[Lina Alhathloul]:

i i'm quite okay what we've seen recently with the transnational repression with you know

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the tiger squad that they've sent to canada trying to kidnap

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

the cadent i think that

cornwell]:

i

[Lina Alhathloul]:

we're not safe

cornwell]:

i think

[Lina Alhathloul]:

anywhere especially if you know allies or governments are not as loud or as vocal

[Lina Alhathloul]:

as they should be against embsisviolat and so i would say i'm

cornwell]:

would

[Lina Alhathloul]:

safe but we never know yeah

cornwell]:

lina i hope that i hope that you keep speaking out and i hope that

cornwell]:

at one point your sister gets to speak louder because the world needs voices like

cornwell]:

yours we need voices like hers and i suspect that all this white washing and

cornwell]:

sport swashing with n b s is just beginning unfortunately i hope that the golf

cornwell]:

world wakes up because it has been a difficult thing to watch but your letter

cornwell]:

again i want to keep airing it especially in the golf world and especially with

cornwell]:

the females in the sport because it's powerful and it matters and it

[Lina Alhathloul]:

it's

cornwell]:

shows what's important lina thank you so much for your time and for joining us

cornwell]:

and it l is an honor to have met

[Lina Alhathloul]:

thank

cornwell]:

you

[Lina Alhathloul]:

you so much liza thank you

cornwell]:

then

[Lina Alhathloul]:

for having

cornwell]:

at

[Lina Alhathloul]:

me

Links