Saudi warns women against defying driving ban

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Current Affairs, World Affairs
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Saudi Arabia on Thursday warned it will take measures against activists who go ahead with a planned weekend campaign to defy a ban on women drivers in the conservative Muslim kingdom.

“It is known that women in Saudi are banned from driving and laws will be applied against violators and those who demonstrate in support” of this cause, interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told AFP.

Activists have called on social networks for Saudi women, individually, to go behind the wheel on Saturday, in a campaign in the world’s only country that bans women from driving.

On Wednesday, the interior ministry issued a statement saying it would crack down against anyone who attempts to “disturb public peace” by congregating or marching “under the pretext of an alleged day of female driving.” “The laws of the kingdom prohibit activities disturbing the public peace and opening venues to sedition which only serve the senseless, the ill-intentioned, intruders, and opportunity hunters,” said the statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

It added that the interior ministry “will fully and firmly enforce the laws against violators”.

Turki insisted that “all gatherings are prohibited” in Saudi Arabia.

Women who defied the law in the past ran into trouble with the authorities and were harassed by compatriots.

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