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Saudi woman penalised for driving car before ban is lifted

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Police in Saudi Arabia have penalised a woman filmed driving a car, according to a spokesman, who warned against violations of a ban on female motorists to be lifted in June.
Authorities summoned the woman for flouting traffic regulations after she appeared in a video driving out of a hotel in Riyadh.

“We call on all Saudi citizens to respect the law and wait until the ban on women driving formally ends,” the police spokesman said.

He did not specify the nature of the penalty, but added that the woman filmed leaving the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the capital had not Last month Saudi Arabia announced it would allow women to obtain driving licences under a royal decree to take effect next summer.

The Gulf kingdom was the only country in the world to prohibit women from taking the wheel, a ban viewed by many as a symbol of repression.

Many Saudi women fear they are easy prey for conservatives in a state where male guardians – typically their fathers, husbands or brothers – have authority to make decisions on their behalf.

The Guardian

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