2 Saudi women jailed 6 days for defying driving ban

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Saudi Arab
Monday, 08 December 2014

Two Saudi women have been detained for six days for defying Saudi Arabia’s medieval driving ban on females, family members and another Saudi activist have confirmed.

Saudi security forces stopped the two female drivers after they drove into the Persian Gulf country from the neighboring United Arab Emirates (UAE) on December 1, AP reported Sunday.

According to the report, 25-year-old Loujain al-Hathloul had been planning to defy the kingdom’s ban on female driving by crossing into her native country from the UAE, where she possesses a driver’s license.

Saudi border guards confiscated al-Hathloul’s passport, forcing her to wait at the crossing post for nearly 24 hours.

The activist and family members also added that when another Saudi woman, 33-year-old Maysa al-Amoudi, arrived at the border to deliver food, water and a blanket to al-Hathloul, she was detained for driving as well.

The activist and the relatives spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government measures against them.

The development comes as Saudi women are increasingly defying the driving ban, publishing online videos of themselves behind the wheel.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving. The medieval ban is based on a fatwa imposed by the country’s Wahhabi clerics. If women get behind the wheel in the kingdom, they may be arrested, sent to court and even flogged.

Saudi authorities have defied calls by international rights groups to end what has been described as violations of women’s rights in the monarchy.

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