Monday, 23 May 2011

Activist arrested as Saudi women prepare day of protest against driving ban

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An activist has been detained by police in Saudi Arabia after recording a video of herself driving a car in the eastern city of Khobar. Manal al-Sharif, 32, uploaded the clip to YouTube as part of a protest against the legal arrangement which effectively bans women from driving in the country, and it received more than 500,000 views before apparently being taken down (the link isn't currently working, although clips can be see through various news services such as al-Jazeera).

Saudi law does not specifically prohibit women from driving, but drivers require a licence issued within the country, which are not issued to women. Al-Sharif has started a campaign for women holding driving licences obtained in other countries to defy the ban from 17 June onwards, with Facebook and Twitter pages set up in support.

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