Saudi woman arrested for a second time for driving campaign

Saudi woman arrested for a second time for driving campaignWashington, May 24 : The rulers of the ultraconservative Saudi Arabia arrested a woman for the second time for driving her car in what women's activists said was a move to suppress an Internet campaign encouraging women to defy a ban on female driving.

Manal al-Sherif was arrested earlier by police after she launched a campaign against the driving ban on women and posted a videotape of herself behind the wheel on Facebook and YouTube to encourage others to copy her.

She and a group of other women started a Facebook page called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself," urging the authorities to lift the ban. She went on a test drive in the eastern city of Khobar and later posted a video of the experience.

The page was removed after more than 12,000 people indicated their support for its call for women drivers to take to the streets in a mass drive on June 17. The campaign''s Twitter account also was deactivated.

Al-Sherif, a 32-year-old IT expert, was arrested on Sunday morning and accused of "violating public order," CBS News quoted a security official, as saying.

She has been detained for five days. Her brother, Mohammed al-Sherif, who was in the car while she was driving, was also taken into custody.

Women are also barred from voting, except for chamber of commerce elections in two cities in recent years, and no woman can be in the kingdom's cabinet.

They cannot travel without permission from a male guardian and shouldn't mingle with males who are not their husbands or brothers.

The campaign - ksawomen2drive - has focused on the importance of women driving in times of emergency, and on low-income families, The Independent reports. (ANI)

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