This is awful. Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s friend Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested in May 2018 and is allegedly being tortured in Saudi Arabia for her activist work, Radar Online reported on February 5. She was allegedly arrested with seven others who were campaigning for better treatment of women as she was starting to set up a domestic violence shelter called Aminah. Radar reported that she is being detained in solitary confinement and questioned, and allegedly being tortured with electric shocks, waterboarding and threats of sexual assault.
Walid Alhathloul, Loujain’s brother, wrote an article about her for CNN on January 31. He said, “she is being whipped, beaten, electrocuted and harassed on a frequent basis,” and that at times, “there are masked men who wake her up in the middle of the night to shout unimaginable threats.” He claims Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, oversees these alleged actions.
So how is Meghan connected to all of this? As Radar pointed out, in 2016, Loujain, 29, attended a One Young World humanitarian summit with the former Suits actress, 37, as well as other high-profile figures like Emma Watson, Cher and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.
Meghan even posed for a photo with Loujain, poet Fatima Bhutto and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, according to Radar. This shouldn’t come as a total shock; after all, Meghan was quite the humanitarian prior to her marriage to Prince Harry when she became a member of the British royal family. She hasn’t addressed the arrest.
Before becoming a duchess, Meghan earned the title of global ambassador for World Vision, advocate for UN Women, and counselor for One Young World, a U.K.-based charity, according to CNBC. Surely, she can’t advocate for every single activist she’s ever worked with. But maybe there’s a chance she could intercede on Loujain’s behalf?