Saudi Police Detain Female Activist for Driving Car in Al-Khobar
Saudi Arabian traffic and religious police detained a female activist for driving a car in al-Khobar in the kingdom’s Eastern Province on the Persian Gulf, according to an activist.
Manal al-Sharif, 32, was detained for six hours yesterday then released, Ibrahim al-Mugaiteeb, president of the Human Rights First Society, based in al-Khobar, said in a phone interview today.
In Saudi Arabia, which enforces the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam, women aren’t allowed to have a Saudi driver’s permit. They can’t travel or get an education without male approval or mix with unrelated men in public places and aren’t permitted to vote in municipal elections scheduled on Sept. 29.
Al-Sharif and other women are organizing a campaign on Facebook and Twitter urging Saudi women with international driver’s licenses to get into cars starting on June 17. Manal posted a video on youtube.com of herself driving on May 19 in al-Khobar. More than half a million people have viewed the video.