HRW calls for release of jailed Saudi woman driver
Jeddah: Saudi Arabia should "immediately"
release a woman jailed for breaking the kingdom`s ban on women
driving, Human Rights Watch said in a statement that also
criticised the ban itself.
"King Abdullah should immediately order the release of
Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested ... after she defied the
kingdom`s de facto ban on driving by women," New York-based
HRW said in a statement today, referring to the Saudi monarch.
"Arresting a woman who drove her family around in a
car and then showed it online opens Saudi Arabia to
condemnation -- and, in fact, to mockery -- around the world,"
HRW senior Middle East researcher Christoph Wilcke said in the
"King Abdullah should end Saudi Arabia`s pariah status
in the world as the sole country banning women from driving,"
"Just as his predecessors made their mark by
introducing education for girls, King Abdullah can shape his
legacy by opening the roads to women drivers."
Manal al-Sharif was arrested on Saturday while driving
in the Eastern Province city of Al-Khobar, a day after she
posted a footage on the video-sharing website YouTube showing
her behind the wheel.
Although traffic police released her after a few
hours, the 32-year-old computer security consultant was later
re-apprehended from her home by criminal investigation police,
her lawyer Adnan al-Saleh said.
"She has been charged with spurring women to drive, on
the Internet, and inciting public opinion," he told AFP by
telephone on Monday, after meeting Sharif in prison.
He said police ordered her to remain in custody for
five days pending further investigations.
In addition to not being allowed to drive, women in
Saudi Arabia are banned from travelling without authorisation
from a male guardian. They are also obliged to cover from head
to toe when in public.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Over 60 cadets killed in Pakistan police academy attack
- DNA: Terrorists' new strategy of snatching weapons from Indian security personnel
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi's ''progressive'' remark on triple talaq
- Panel discussion over vote bank politics on Hinduism
- Panel discussion over delayed development in Ayodhya
- Explosion in Delhi's Naya Bazar, one killed; anti-terror wing, Special cell at spot
- WATCH: Akhilesh Yadav's emotional speech revealing the real reason behind Samajwadi Party crisis; he was about to cry
- India vs New Zealand: Awestruck Kiwis witness MS Dhoni driving his Hummer in Ranchi, and photo goes viral
- Lashkar-e-Toiba claims responsibility for Uri attack in posters pasted in Pakistan town
- Naya Bazar explosion: Home Ministry seeks report from Delhi Police; one dead, 5 injured