A Saudi woman was arrested on Monday after attempting to drive into the kingdom in defiance of a driving ban on women in the conservative country.
“I have been at the Saudi border for 24 hours. They don’t want to give me my passport nor will they let me pass”, Loujain Hathloul tweeted before tweets from her account @LoujainHathloul stopped.
“The customs (department) have no right to prevent me from entering even if in their opinion I am ‘a violator’ because I am Saudi”, she had tweeted on Monday morning.
According to activists, Hathloul was arrested at the UAE-Saudi border on Monday afternoon. UAE-based Saudi journalist Maysaa Alamoudi, who went to the border point to support Hathloul, was also arrested. The Interior ministry has not yet commented on the incident. According to the activists, both women were transferred from a Saudi police station to the bureau of investigation.
Before Hathloul’s tweets stopped, she had said that her driving license “is valid in all GCC countries” and posted details about her confinement in the car.“(Alamoudi) has brought me a toothbrush. Refreshing”.“Thank God I still have some petrol left”.
“If it weren’t for that I would have died of the cold last night and my phone switched off. Yaala, I am almost 20 hours now at the border”, she posted.
Earlier, about six hours into her wait, she posted that she was “optimistic”, even joking that “if someone brings me a horse or a camel to the border, maybe then I’ll be allowed to pass”.
Several women in the kingdom in October had posted images of driving as a part on an online campaign protesting against the law. The interior minister responded by saying that it would “strictly implement” measures against anyone undermining “social cohesion”.