The release of a prominent female activist this week is Saudi Arabia’s latest gesture to curry favor with the Biden administration.Al-Hathloul’s conditional release on Wednesday after serving 1,001 days in prison and allegations that she was tortured is the latest in a series of gestures by the kingdom’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to shore up a badly strained relationship with Washington in the wake of President Joe Biden’s election. Under President Trump, Riyadh could seemingly do no wrong. Since his election victory, however, President Biden has been implementing a tougher, more skeptical stance towards the kingdom. During the campaign, candidate Biden criticized the kingdom’s continued pursuit of its catastrophic war in Yemen, its 2018 murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and its continuing repression of political dissidents at home and abroad. Biden specifically cited Al-Hathloul’s case by name. In another of his strongest critiques, he accused Prince Salman of having ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s murder (which the crown prince has denied) and vowed to make Saudi’s rulers "the pariah that they are."