Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-20-08

Woman Arrested by Saudi Religious Police for Drinking Coffee with a Man

An American business woman was arrested on February 4 for being in the family section of a Starbucks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a male colleague. A relative of the woman told the Associated Press that she went to Starbucks to use the internet after being told the connection was down at her office. The woman, known only as "Yara" to protect her family's identity, was quickly arrested by the Saudi religious police. funny pictures funny images funny photos funny animal pictures funny dog pictures funny cat pictures funny gifs

According to Telegraph, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice posted a justification of the arrest on its website, saying, "It's not allowed for any woman to travel alone and sit with a strange man and talk and laugh and drink coffee together like they are married. All of these are against the law and it's clear it's against the law. First, for a woman to work with men is against the law and against religion. Second, the family sections at coffee shops and restaurants are meant for families and close relatives."

Human rights groups say that Yara's alleged violations of Islamic law do not justify her treatment in the hands of the commission. After more than five hours with the police, Yara was forced to sign a confession saying that she had been in "illegal seclusion with a man who is not her husband," according to the Associated Press. Telegraph reports that Yara was strip-searched. Yakin Erturk, UN human rights expert, said Yara "was subjected to humiliating an illegal treatment before she was released."

The Saudi religious police have been criticized for its treatment of women before, in the case of arresting a woman for "witchcraft" earlier this month and for sentencing a rape victim last year to 200 lashes for being alone in a car with a man who was not related to her.

Media Resources: Associated Press 02/19/08, 02/14/08; Arab News 02/20/08; Telegraph 02/20/08; Feminist Daily Newswire 02/14/08, 11/28/07


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/27/2015 Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive - On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. . . .
 
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections. This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
 
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms. The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .