Sisters of Saudi activist: We want 'real justice'

The sisters of prominent Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul- who was released this week from prison - said they want real justice for her.

31-year-old Hathloul spent nearly three years behind bars in a case that drew international condemnation.

A campaigner for women's right to drive and to end Saudi's male guardianship system, Hathloul is forbidden to leave Saudi Arabia for the next five years, a ban that extends to her parents.

Her sisters held an online news conference from Brussels, where they live:

LINA AL-HATHLOUL: "Loujain is not free, she's just been temporarily released, conditionally released, and what we want now is that real justice, basically."

ALIA AL-HATHLOUL: “She is very determined to use all means that exist within the legal framework in Saudi Arabia to exhaust all the possibilities in order to obtain her rights,"

Hathloul is now at their parents' home, and the family is said to be overjoyed to have her back.

Lina al-Hathloul tweeted a picture of her sister smiling, but thinner than before, with a new grey streak in her hair. The sisters said she had lost weight from the hunger strikes she staged to protest against her prison conditions.

Hathloul was arrested in March 2018 in the United Arab Emirates where she was studying, and flown back to Saudi Arabia against her will.

She was sentenced last December under broad counter-terrorism laws. U.N. rights experts said the charges were spurious.

Rights groups and her family say Hathloul was subjected to abuse in prison, including electric shocks, waterboarding, flogging and sexual assault.

Saudi authorities have denied the accusations.