Rebel Behind the Wheel: Saudi Woman Flouts Driving Ban

She was summoned, though reportedly not arrested, for cruising in advance of ban being lifted
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 9, 2017 12:10 PM CDT
In this unrelated photo from March 29, 2014, a woman drives a car on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

(Newser) – A Saudi woman who appeared in a video driving a car in Riyadh was briefly detained for violating the country's ban on women driving, which is set to be lifted in June, per the AP. The state-linked Sabq news website reported on Monday that the woman in the video, who was unnamed, was identified and summoned by security authorities. AFP notes she was spotted driving out of a hotel in the capital. "We call on all Saudi citizens to respect the law and wait until the ban on women driving formally ends," a police spokesman says.

The spokesman adds that the woman wasn't arrested, and that the car's owner was also booked for breaking traffic rules. Her male guardian—typically a woman's father or husband—was then asked to sign a pledge that she wouldn't violate traffic regulations again. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to ban women from driving. King Salman announced last month that women will be granted driving licenses and be allowed to drive next summer. The decision came after decades of struggle by women's rights activists. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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