This video from the USA says about itself:
Saudi Women Driving Hits Roadblock
25 May 2018
Activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been arrested. Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola, Abby Martin, and Jen Briney, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.
“When Saudi Arabia announced last September that it would lift its ban on women driving, activists celebrated a step toward women’s equality in a nation known for restrictive, patriarchal laws. The lift is set to go into effect June 24.
But over the past two weeks, 11 women’s rights activists were arrested by Saudi authorities. The crackdown, reported by several human rights groups, comes just a month before the ban is set to be lifted.
Among those arrested were Loujain al-Hathloul, an activist with a large social media presence; Eman al-Nafjan, a blogger and activist; and Aisha al-Mana, a veteran driving activist — all three women were public leaders in the campaign to end the driving ban. …
“What the Saudi authorities seem to be trying to do is to make it clear that firstly, any reform taking place is only due to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman”, says Rothna Begum, the women’s rights researcher on the Middle East and North Africa for Human Rights Watch. “They are attempting to revise the history of the actual activism that took place by these women’s rights activists.””
Read more here.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 – 18:12
What will it take for ‘self-identifying feminist’ Theresa May to criticise Saudi Arabia?
HOW many Saudi women’s rights activists have to be arrested, detained and possibly face the death penalty before “self-identifying feminist” Theresa May
Ms May’s ‘feminism’ is as fake as the ‘feminism’ of “self-identifying feminist” United States far-right Republican Trump-supporting politician Sarah Palin. And as fake as the ‘feminism’ of George W Bush in his Afghan war propaganda. And as fake as the ‘feminism’ of the Dutch government in their Afghan war propaganda.
rethinks Britain’s links with Riyadh?
That, according to Saudi Arabia’s Okaz newspaper, is what faces six women and three men who are locked up solely for defending human rights denied to women.
When activists are berated as “traitors”, especially in a medieval dictatorship such as the House of Saud, the consequences are invariably serious.
At a time when the Saudi autocracy is operating an international charm campaign, headed by alleged “reformer” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Britain’s government is well-placed to raise fears about ongoing repression and denial of any semblance of democracy.
After all, it has licensed £4.6 billion in arms exports to the kingdom in the past three years, including £2.7bn of licences for aircraft and £1.9bn for grenades, bombs and missiles.
That is the period during which Riyadh has headed a coalition of Gulf states to deploy warplanes and other military forces to try to return the discredited Yemeni government to office.
Aerial bombing has devastated civilian areas, supposedly directed at the military bases of Houthi rebels who hold the Yemeni capital Sanaa and much of the country.
The Yemeni people need the war to end and for a negotiated solution providing for a lasting peace to be found.
It is criminal that the Tory government prioritises arms-trafficking companies’ profits and their shareholders’ dividends over the Yemeni people’s right to life and over Saudi women’s campaigns for human rights and equality.
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SAUDI ARABIA’S public prosecutor’s office said today that 17 people have been detained on suspicion of trying to undermine security and stability in a case targeting women’s rights campaigners.
Prosecutors did not name those arrested by the authorities, but they said that eight had been temporarily released.
The people arrested are activists associated with the campaign to lift the kingdom’s ban on women driving, despite the ban set to be scrapped from June 24.
Activists and rights group say that among those released are Aisha al-Mana, Hessah al-Sheikh and Madeha al-Ajroush — three veteran advocates of women’s rights who took part in the first driving protest in 1990.
Walaa al-Shubbar, a nurse who spoke out in support of women’s rights, was also briefly detained and released, according to rights groups.
The prosecutor’s statement said five men and four women are still being held with “sufficient evidence against them, as well as their confession to the charges.”
The statement claimed the activists had admitted to communicating with people and organisations hostile to the kingdom, recruiting people in a sensitive government entity to obtain confidential information to harm the kingdom, and providing financial and moral support to hostile elements abroad. State-linked media have referred to the group as “foreign embassy agents” and branded them traitors.
Torture of detainees is common, and Saudi newspaper Okaz has reported that the activists could face the death penalty if convicted.
Among those detained since May 15 are Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef and Eman al-Nafjan, according to people with knowledge of the arrests who spoke out on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions. The three women still being held are among the most well-known women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia.
Also believed to still be detained are Ibrahim al-Mudaimigh, a lawyer who has represented human rights activists in the kingdom, writer and activist Mohammed al-Rabea and Abdulaziz al-Meshaal, a businessman and philanthropist who supported an effort by activists to establish a charity to help victims of domestic abuse.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say Mohammed al-Bajadi, a founding member of the now banned Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, was arrested on May 24 as part of the current sweep against activists.
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