Free Press Journal

Detained Saudi women driving campaigners branded traitors

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Dubai : Seven people in Saudi Arabia, including four prominent women’s rights activists who campaigned for the right to drive, are being accused by state security of working with “foreign entities.”

Pro-government media outlets have splashed their photos online and on newspapers, accusing them of betrayal and of being traitors.

The stunning arrests come before Saudi Arabia is set to lift the world’s only ban on women driving next month.


The Interior Ministry late Saturday did not name those arrested, but said the group is being investigated for communicating with “foreign entities” and providing money to foreign circles with the aim of destabilizing the kingdom.

Pro-government media have published the names of those detained, which include Loujain al-Hathloul and Aziza al-Yousef. Both are outspoken and well-known activists who’ve pushed for greater women’s rights.