As criticism mounts against the Saudi government for it's failure to properly manage development in Mecca, the country's human rights abuses are also coming under renewed scrutiny, including the imprisonment of human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Waleed Abu Al-Khair back in February of 2014.
Al-Khair called for a more democratic Saudi Arabia, and defended the rights of his wife, Samar Badawi, who was punished for driving a car and refusing to marry the man her father selected.
Sentenced to a 15 year stay in prison, Al-Khair's case has encouraged debate on religion, politics, and human rights in his home country.
Al-Khair's wife is desperately trying to overturn this sentence. Earlier this month, his lawyers tried to capitalize on the Saudi King Salman's visit with President Obama by presenting him with a petition calling for Al-Khair's release, but there's has been no word as to whether that letter was received.
Daniel Arshack, one of the lawyers for Waleed Abu Al-Khair, discusses the case.
What you'll learn from this segment:
- The role Al-Khair played in Saudi society prior to his arrest
- What the U.S. State Department's latest report on human rights in Saudi Arabia says
- How other activists are responding to Al-Khair's imprisonment