We’ve written before about the Saudi ban on women driving and the brave people who were standing up to the law. There’s now news that at least five Saudi women have been taken into custody because they defied the men-only driving rule.
In the campaign to overthrow this law in the ultraconservative Arab kingdom, these arrests mark the first ramifications to the activists. It started about two weeks ago and has brought out dozens of women drivers.
According to Saudi-based rights activist Eman al-Nafjan, police took one woman into custody while driving in Jiddah on the Red Sea coast, and another four women accused of driving were later detained in the city. Unfortunately, there’s been no new information about these women.
“This is the first big pushback from authorities, it seems,” al-Nafjan said. “We aren’t sure what it means at this point and whether this is the start of a harder line by the government against the campaign.”
The Saudi Women for Driving, as the group is called, is out to lift the restrictions, where women can only appear in public when escorted by a male relative. It’s interesting to note that Saudi Arabia has no written law that bans women from driving. What’s keeping them off the road are fatwas (religious edicts) that are put into place by senior clerics that follow a strict brand of Islam called Wahabism.
[Source: Aol Autos]