Saudi woman campaigner arrested for driving

Filed on August 24, 2011

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia A Saudi mother was arrested in the western city of Jeddah on Wednesday for defying a ban on women drivers, her daughter told AFP.

Najla Hariri was arrested while driving to the office of her daughter, Dalia.

“My mother was taken to the police station,” the daughter said.

Since mid-May, Hariri who campaigns for women’s rights, has driven around Jeddah several times without being arrested.

She is among a group of activists who launched an Internet campaign on June 17 urging women to defy the ban on driving in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Since then, women regularly get behind the wheels of their cars, according to the activists.

The icon of the campaign, Manal al-Sherif, a 32-year-old computer security consultant, was arrested on May 22 and detained for 10 days after posting on YouTube a video of herself driving her car around the eastern city of Khobar.

Five Saudi women were arrested at the wheels of their cars in late June in Jeddah.

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