In an act of civil disobedience, two women in Saudi Arabia defied an archaic cultural ban that prohibits females from driving a car and were arrested a month ago. They have been detained since and are about to get their day in court…but not in traffic court…or municipal court…but Saudi Arabia’s anti-terrorism court. WTF?
Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month in defiance of a ban on females driving were referred on Thursday to a court established to try terrorism cases, several people close to the defendants said.
They did not elaborate on the specific charges or what the opinions were. Both women have spoken out online against the female driving ban. Activists say they fear the case is intended to send a warning to others pushing for greater rights.
The Specialized Criminal Court, to which their cases were referred, was established in the capital Riyadh to try terrorism cases but has also tried and handed long prison sentences to a number of human rights workers, peaceful dissidents, activists and critics of the government
This was the first time women drivers have been referred to the court, activists said.
If that weren’t bad enough…women driving isn’t even officially against the law. No really, it’s not…yet they are being treated as criminals:
Though no formal law bans women from driving in Saudi Arabia, ultraconservative Saudi clerics have issued religious edicts forbidding women from taking the wheel, and authorities do not issue them driver’s licenses. No such ban exists anywhere else in the world, even in other conservative Gulf countries.
So we continue to embrace as an ally a nation that openly abuses its women. A nation that knows enough to avoid codifying that oppression but openly practices it anyway. Yet the very same people who ignore Saudi Arabia’s refusal to live in the 21st are aghast as normalizing relations with Cuba? Get out!