A Saudi Arabian court on Monday sentenced women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul to nearly six years in prison under counter-terrorism laws, reported AP.

Al-Hathloul was found guilty on charges of pushing for change, pursuing a foreign agenda, using the Internet to disturb public order and cooperating with individuals and entities that have committed crimes under anti-terror ties, the news agency reported, citing state-run website Sabq.

In a statement, al-Hathloul’s family said that she will be barred from leaving the country for five years and will have to serve three years of probation following her release. Her sister, Lina al-Hathloul, said that Loujain al-Hathloul will appeal against the sentence, Reuters reported.

Al-Hathloul, who had pushed for women’s right to drive before the ban was lifted in 2018, was arrested along with other women right’s activists in May 2015. She has been in prison since then. Her sister said that the court, while delivering its verdict in the activist’s case on Monday, suspended two years and 10 months from her earlier sentence of five years and eight months.

“She was charged, tried and convicted using counter-terrorism laws,” Lina al-Hathloul said in a statement. “My sister is not a terrorist, she is an activist. To be sentenced for her activism for the very reforms that MBS [Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] and the Saudi Kingdom so proudly tout is the ultimate hypocrisy,” she said.

Sabq reported that the judge said al-Hathloul had confessed without coercion to committing the crimes. It said that its reporter was allowed inside the courtroom.

Local media reported that another women’s rights activist, Maya’a al-Zahrani, was awarded the same sentence. The court’s ruling in the case has drawn international criticism, including from the United States.

Al-Hathloul’s imprisonment is likely to affect the relationship between Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and US President-elect Joe Biden. Jake Sullivan, Biden’s appointed national security adviser, called the sentencing unjust and troubling. “As we have said, the Biden-Harris administration will stand up against human rights violations wherever they occur,“ he said in a tweet.

US State Department spokesperson Cale Brown said America was “concerned” by reports of al-Hathloul’s sentence. “We’ve emphasized the importance of free expression and peaceful activism in Saudi Arabia as it advances women’s rights,” he tweeted. “We look forward to her anticipated early release in 2021.”

The United Nations has said the charges were “spurious”.

Al-Hathloul has spoken against alleged human rights violations in Saudi Arabia even after being arrested. She had launched hunger strikes to protest against her imprisonment and also alleged, along with other female activists, that she was tortured and sexually assaulted by masked men during interrogations. The women alleged that they were waterboarded, caned and electrocuted. Some say they were threatened with rape.

Al-Hathloul had rejected an offer to take back her allegations of torture for early release, according to her family. A court, however, dismissed her allegations, citing a lack of evidence.