Saudi women’s driving rights activists arrested

This video says about itself:

Arrested and jailed for driving in Saudi Arabia

22 January 2016

Our Middle East correspondent speaks to Loujain al-Hathloul and Fahad Albutairi, a married couple, about Loujain’s arrest and incarceration for driving as a woman in Saudi Arabia.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Prominent Saudi women’s rights activists arrested

Today, 01:43

In Saudi Arabia, seven people have been arrested who, according to the Saudi government, have “suspicious ties with foreign powers”. Among them are said to be five prominent women’s rights activists, who also have been active for the possibility for women to get a driving license in Saudi Arabia. They will be able to do that from next month on.

According to the Saudi government, the seven suspects supposedly have provided financial support to foreign enemies of the kingdom. In addition, they supposedly tried to have a conspiracy against Saudi Arabia with people working on important positions within the government.

An activist says to the Reuters news agency that nothing is correct in that official pretext. Saudi Arabia, would like to prevent the activists from publicly claiming the responsibility for allowing women to obtain a driving license from 24 June on.


Also activist Loujain al-Hathloul and her lawyer are said to have been arrested. Hathloul was detained for 73 days in 2014 after attempting to drive to Saudi Arabia from the Emirates. Last year she told Dutch Nieuwsuur TV show about her activism and her hope for reform in Saudi Arabia.

Officially, it has never been illegal for women to drive cars in the conservative Islamic kingdom, but in practice women were prevented because they could not obtain a driving license.

Apparently, warmongering pseudo-reformist Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman does not want the women activists to get the credit for the driving ban change which the women forced on him.

From the Reuters article:

“They detained them because they do not want them to publicly claim success.”

… Activists and analysts say, however, that the government is keen to avoid rewarding activism, which is forbidden in the absolute monarchy.

25 thoughts on “Saudi women’s driving rights activists arrested

  1. SAUDI ARABIA: Two women’s rights activists seized in a clampdown on feminist campaigners have been released but at least eight more are still behind bars, Amnesty and two Saudi rights groups said today.

    Aisha al-Mana and Hessah al-Sheikh, both of whom were part of the first protest against the despotic Gulf kingdom’s ban on women driving in 1990, have been let go, the groups said, but others have not. The detainees have been interrogated without access to lawyers and one woman has not been heard from since her arrest on May 15.


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