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A Saudi woman, defying the country’s ban on female drivers, has been released after she was briefly arrested while driving to her daughter’s office in the city of Jeddah.
AFP reports that Najla Hariri was released after her husband came to the police station. Before being released, Saudi women arrested for driving have previously had to sign a pledge promising not to drive again — but Hariri says she did no such thing.
“I have not signed any commitment that forbids me from driving,” she told AFP, adding that she also repeatedly told police that no law in Saudi Arabia actually forbids women from getting behind the wheel.
Though no written law keeps women in the kingdom from driving, religious edicts enforced by religious police have made the country the only one in the world where women are not allowed to drive. The women generally rely on hired drivers or male family members for transportation.
As a result, a number of women organized Women2Drive, a social media-based campaign, calling for Saudi women to drive their own cars on June 17. Though the ban has yet to be overturned, small numbers of women have continued driving since the date passed. According to AFP, Hariri — who campaigns for women’s rights — has driven around Jeddah a few times since mid-May without arrest.
Numerous women have driven around different Saudi cities, often posting about their efforts on sites like Twitter and Youtube, without much incident. But there have been a few arrests along the way. Five women were arrested in late June, also while driving around Jeddah. And in May, Manal al-Sherif — a key Women2Drive organizer — was arrested after posting a YouTube clip of herself driving around the city of Khobar. The women were released after pledging that they wouldn’t drive again.
News of Hariri’s release seems to have struck a positive chord on Twitter, where the #Women2Drive hashtag continues being used daily. @Zaki_Safar, a 26-year-old Saudi man, tweeted: “Releasing Najla Hariri after she refused to sign pledge is an enormous positive turn in the whole #Women2Drive saga.” And Saudi American Twitter user @Ana3rabeya tweeted at Hariri (@hariri65) herself, saying, “You are a Great Woman, I have a lot of Admiration for you. Thank you for taking a Brave Stand on #Women2Drive.”
More Stories About Women2Drive
- U.S. Senators Urge Saudi King To Overturn Ban on Female Drivers
- Saudi Woman To Face Trial for Driving in Medical Emergency [REPORT]
- Online Petition Calls for State Dept. To Condemn Saudi Women’s Arrests
- Saudi Women’s Driving Campaign Launches Facebook Ads
- Saudi Arabia Releases Women Arrested for Driving [REPORT]
- Activists: 5 Saudi Women Arrested for Driving
- Saudi Women Drive Again as European Union Offers Support
- Saudi Women Petition Subaru To Leave Country Over Driving Ban
- Hillary Clinton Throws Support Behind Saudi Women2Drive Movement
- Nancy Pelosi & Colleagues Tweet Support for Saudi Women2Drive Campaign
- Saudis Use Social Media To Document Campaign for Women’s Right To Drive
- Saudi Women Ready To Defy Driving Ban, Fueled by Social Media
- Saudi Woman Behind Social Media Driving Campaign Released From Detention
For more Social Media coverage:
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
im on yo lawn strikin some moves
Tagged: affenpinscher, dancing, grass, lawn, moves, outdoors, standing up, striking
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