Hatlul appeared in a Saudi court on Wednesday as his trial was scheduled to begin after 900 days in pre-trial detention.
Instead the court referred the case to the Special Criminal Court for terrorism and national security cases, according to a report by his family and supporters.
“We are deeply concerned that at least five women rights activists continue to be detained in Saudi Arabia. Human rights ambassadors to Luxembourg and Finland said in a statement.
Hatlow, 31, was jailed in May 2018 for banning women from driving, targeting key opponents of the state’s former law. The repression took place just weeks before the ban was lifted, raising suspicions about the reform agenda put forward by the intimidated Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The court, which he appeared in on Wednesday, is investigating Hatlul’s allegations of torture in prison, according to a family statement. Saudi officials have repeatedly denied allegations of torture and sexual abuse in prisons. The new test date has not yet been announced.
“Peaceful activity, and advocating for women’s rights is not a crime. Human rights defenders can be a strong partner for governments in addressing concerns in the community,” the ambassadors said.
“We join the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Rapporteurs and the High Commissioner for Contracts in reiterating our call for the release of all political prisoners, including women’s rights activists.”
CNN has approached the Saudi government for a response.
In an interview with CNN’s Nick Robertson earlier this month, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Zubair called Hadloul’s case “up to the courts” and said he was “investigating national security issues”.
Lynn Malaf, Amnesty International’s Representative for the Middle East, said the Special Criminal Court was “an institution used to silence dissent and was disgraceful in awarding long prison sentences for serious misconduct.”
The six-page indictment in the Hatloul case, seen by CNN, included a section entitled “Crimes” that deals with the state’s restricted male protection laws and interactions with foreign journalists and diplomats.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Agency, called for Hatlou’s immediate release on Saturday, saying he had “suffered more than 2 years of torture and abuse while in detention.”
“Acting on behalf of (women’s) rights is not a crime. It is also plagued by allegations of abuse and lack of transparency / lack of access to trials,” the Bureau’s press office wrote on Twitter.
Hatlul’s family and supporters say he began a second hunger strike on October 26 to protest prison conditions and refuse to contact relatives.
Two weeks later she was forced to call off her strike because the authorities woke her up several times during the night, leaving her exhausted.
The statement said he was “weak on the court and his body was trembling uncontrollably and his voice was dizzy and trembling.”
Her sister, Lena al-Hadloul, said she and her family had not received any updates on Hadloul since she began her fast until Tuesday, the day before she was due to appear in court.
“This time the Saudi government, instead of responding to our continued inquiries into Lujain’s health, they blocked our demands and refused to allow us to access Lujain,” he said in the statement.