Saudi Arabia Arrests Women Driving Activists. Why Now?

A Saudi woman learns to drive ahead of the lifting of the ban on women driving in the kingdom on June 24, 2018 (Photo: YOUSEF DOUBISI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Saudi woman learns to drive ahead of the lifting of the ban on women driving in the kingdom set for June 24, 2018 (Photo: YOUSEF DOUBISI/AFP/Getty Images)

The ban on women driving in the Saudi Arabia is set to be lifted June 24, 2018. So why would the kingdom now arrest the leading activists who pushed for this moment for years?

One of the most prominent activists, Loujain al-Hathloul, was studying in the United Arab Emirates at the time of her arrest. Her colleagues say Saudi security forces arrested her there and forcibly brought her back to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Hathloul previously spent 70 days in a Saudi jail in 2014 when she drove her car across the border from the UAE into the kingdom. She was arrested again in 2017 at Damman Airport in eastern Saudi Arabia with no reason given.

Below you will find a timeline of the Saudi activists’ struggle to gain the right to drive for women.

Listen to Clarion Project’s national security analyst and director of Clarion Intelligence Network Ryan Mauro for insights into the machinations of the royal minds:

 

 

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