Saudi women drivers sent to ‘terrorism’ court, say activists

A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia October 22, 2013. file photo
A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia October 22, 2013. file photo

Two women’s rights campaigners detained in Saudi Arabia have been transferred to a special tribunal for “terrorism”, activists said on Thursday after the women appeared in court.

The ruling came at a hearing in Al-Ahsa, in the kingdom’s Eastern Province, according to the activists who declined to be named.

Loujain Hathloul has been detained since December 1 after she tried to drive into the kingdom from neighbouring United Arab Emirates in defiance of a ban.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

Maysaa Alamoudi, a UAE-based Saudi journalist, arrived at the border to support Hathloul and was also arrested.

Activists did not provide full details of the allegations against the pair but said investigations appeared to focus on the women’s social media activities rather than their driving.

“They will transfer her case to the terrorism court,” said an activist familiar with Hathloul’s case, adding that her lawyer plans to appeal.

A second activist confirmed that Alamoudi’s case was also being moved to the specialist tribunal.

Hathloul has 228,000 followers on Twitter.

Before her arrest she tweeted, sometimes with humour, details of the 24 hours she spent waiting to cross into Saudi Arabia after border officers stopped her.

Alamoudi has 131,000 followers and has also hosted a programme on YouTube discussing the driving ban.

In early December Saudi authorities blocked the website of a regional human rights group which reported the women’s case.

Reporters Without Borders, a watchdog, this year named Saudi Arabia as one of 19 countries where government agencies are “enemies of the Internet” for their censorship and surveillance.

In October, dozens of women posted images online of themselves behind the wheel as part of an online campaign supporting the right to drive.

In response, the Ministry of Interior said it would “strictly implement” measures against anyone undermining “the social cohesion”.

Activists say women’s driving is not technically illegal but that the ban is linked to tradition and custom in the conservative kingdom.





10 responses to “Saudi women drivers sent to ‘terrorism’ court, say activists”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    I’d guess that story about ‘Expats’ liking certain countries applied only to males in S.A.
    (damn those terrible females … visiting such terror on ‘the good men’ … avoid the ‘technicalities’. )

    1. Hind Abyad Avatar

      They’re a farce, haha…er ..i mean, they couldn’t feel much of a Male without women..(could they)?

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Or … perhaps they ‘feel’ males more … 😉

        1. Hind Abyad Avatar


  2. In Nigeria, the 13-year-old girl, who was arrested with explosives belt, said she was not going to commit suicide bombing.
    Nigerian told that the militants “Boko Haram”, to which she gave by father were going to make her a suicide bomber. Islamists promised the girl that she will go to heaven if undermine itself, but it did not convince a teenager. Then the terrorists have threatened the girl that they bury her alive, and she agreed to wear an explosive belt. December 10 along with two other bombers, she went to the textile market in the city of Kano.
    According to the girl, she decided not to detonate the explosives, but the other two suicide bombers blew themselves up. The attack killed four people, another seven were wounded. One of the victims was itself cancelled bomber. She was shot in the leg
    After the explosion, the taxi driver took the girl to the hospital. When a passenger told the driver that left a suicide belt in a car seat, he said everything to police. The girl was arrested.
    Police Inspector Adenrele Shinaba said that minors will remain in custody until the investigation is under way. According to him, the police have not yet found the girl’s father, who is “Boko Haram” member

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Nice … make a daughter, then blow her up when big enough to carry the belt of death.
      Great religion.

    2. Hind Abyad Avatar

      What’s Boko Haram got to do with this article..

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Nothing. But since ‘VS’ plugs irrelevant stuff in everywhere, I thought I’d respond on one.

  3. sweetvirgo Avatar

    Yeah….driving is terrorism. Oh I forgot women can’t do well as travel…can’t even go to the supermarket without “permission”. Give me a freakin break.

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