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Saudi Arabia warns of punishments for women

Activists plan campaign against country's ban on women drivers

<p>Picture: Al Jazeera</p>

Picture: Al Jazeera

  • Al Jazeera
  • Saudi Arabia
  • October 25, 2013
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Saudi Arabia has warned that 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.

The women organising the campaign have been posting online footage of themselves driving in Saudi cities, and have called on Saudi women with foreign driving licences to get behind the wheel on Saturday.

"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 the AFP news agency.

Activists have posted a message on social networks asking Saudi women, individually, to go behind the wheel, in a campaign in the world's only country that bans women from driving.

The campaigners hope to take advantage of the ambiguous nature of the kingdom's ban on women driving, which is not explicitly enshrined in either the kingdom's Islamic law or its traffic code.

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 Interior Ministry spokesman has insisted that "all gatherings are prohibited" in Saudi Arabia. 

Full Story: Saudi government warns driving ban activists 

Source: Al Jazeera

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