News Brief 5/24/2011, Iyar 20, 5771
Calls to Release Saudi Woman who Drove
Activist Manal Alsharif was arrested Sunday for driving in Saudi Arabia. Now human rights groups are calling for her release, with Human Rights Watch warning that the arrest could be “besmirching the kingdom's reputation abroad and stirring up public opinion.”
Alsharif learned to drive in the United States and holds an American drivers license. However, Saudi law requires drivers to use a local license, and local licenses are not issued to women.
She filmed herself driving and uploaded the video as part of an online campaign to win Saudi women the right to drive. The video has been posted several times on Youtube, and has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, mostly in Arabic.