Sunday, October 27, 2013
Few Saudi women brave enough to defy the ban on driving, at least 16 fines
At least 16 Saudi women have received fines for taking the wheel on a day set by activists to defy the kingdom's traditional ban on female driving, police and reports said Sunday. Only few women braved official threats of punishment and drove on Saturday in response to an online campaign headlined "Women's driving is a choice."
"Police stopped six women driving in Riyadh, and fined them 300 riyals ($80) each," said the capital's police deputy spokesman, Colonel Fawaz al-Miman. Each of the women, along with her male guardian – who could be a father, husband, brother, uncle, or grandson – had to "sign a pledge to respect the kingdom's laws," Miman told AFP.
In Jeddah, police also fined two women for driving, according to the Red Sea city's police spokesman, Nawaf al-Bouq. Saudi newspapers, meanwhile, reported that six women were stopped by police in Eastern Province, and at least two others were stopped in other parts of the kingdom. A dozen Saudi women posted videos on the Twitter account of the campaign, @oct26driving, showing themselves driving.