Saudi activist Loujain Al Hathloul sentenced to six years in prison

Court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence and backdated it start to May 2018

FILE - This Nov. 30, 2014 image made from video released by Loujain al-Hathloul, shows her driving towards the United Arab Emirates - Saudi Arabia border before her arrest on Dec. 1, 2014, in Saudi Arabia. Rights activists say at least six people who have campaigned for human rights in Saudi Arabia, including four women who pushed for the right to drive, have been detained in Saudi Arabia. Among those detained since Tuesday, May 15, 2018 is Loujain al-Hathloul, who was previously arrested in late 2014 for more than 70 days for criticizing the government online and pushing for the right to drive. (AP Photo/Loujain al-Hathloul, File)

A Saudi court sentenced rights activist Loujain Al Hathloul to five years and eight months in prison on Monday.

The court suspended two years and 10 months of her sentence, which came about three years after her arrest in 2018. The sentence was backdated to May 2018, meaning she could be freed in a matter of months.

Al Hathloul, 31, was arrested with other activists one month before the kingdom overturned its female driving ban.

She was charged with recruiting people "in charge of sensitive government positions, providing foreign circles with money with the aim to destabilise the kingdom, breach its social structure and mar the national consistence", state media reported.

Rights groups have repeatedly called for her release.

Saudi authorities said at the time of her arrest that they had "monitored an orchestrated activity of a group of persons who dared to [breach] the country's religious and national pillars through making suspected contacts in support of the activities of foreign circles".

Al Hathloul was first arrested in 2014 after she attempted to drive into Saudi Arabia from the UAE.

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