Saudi Religious Cops Toss US Exec in Pokey
Her crime? Sitting with a male colleague at Starbucks
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2008 8:25 AM CST
Saudi women cross a street in Hofuf city in Saudi Arabia.   (Getty Images (by Event))
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(Newser) – A 37-year-old American businesswoman says Saudi Arabia's religious police swooped her out of a Riyadh Starbucks and bundled her off to jail, where she was strip searched, humiliated, and bullied into signing confessions, reports the Times of London—all for sharing a table with a male colleague when the Internet in her office went out.

The woman, who is of Jordanian descent but grew up in America, says her husband used political contacts to release her, but other women aren't as lucky. Under the country's strict Islamic moral code, women may not appear in public with non-related men. Religious police told the woman she had committed "a great sin," and would "burn in hell."