Saudi woman who defied driving ban involved in fatal car crash


Richard Hall
Wednesday 25 January 2012 02:10

A Saudi woman who defied a ban on female drivers in the country has been severely injured and her passenger killed in a car crash.

The woman was killed when the four-wheel-drive vehicle she was travelling in overturned in the northern Hael province on Saturday. "One woman was immediately killed and her companion who was driving the car was hospitalised after she suffered several injuries," said police spokesman Abdul Aziz Al Zunaidi.

In November 2010, a Saudi woman who defied the driving ban was killed along with three of her 10 female passengers when her vehicle overturned in a crash.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. A high-profile internet campaign was launched last year that urged women to defy the ban.

The icon of the campaign, Manal al- Sharif, a 32-year-old computer security consultant, was arrested and detained for 10 days after posting on YouTube a video of herself driving her car around the eastern city of Khobar.

As well as a ban on driving, Saudi Arabia are also obliged to wear a veil in public, and cannot travel unless accompanied by their husband or close male relative.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia declared last year that women would have the right to vote and run in national elections in 2015. Just two days after the announcement, a woman was sentenced to 10 lashes for driving in public. After public pressure, the sentence was overturned.

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