The Right2Dignity campaign has received confirmed information that a list of Saudi women, who have driven and were stopped by the police officer, was transfered to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in preparation of their trials. This information was proven yesterday when we heard Ms. Shaima Jastaniah’s court sentence to be 10 lashes because she drove her car in Jeddah last July, as well as forcibly taking pledges from numerous women who have driven recently.
These overly harsh and uncalled for actions are an apparent attempt to scare Saudi women Rights activists and intimidate them so that they would stop their demand of rights. These actions are a desperate attempt to violate the promises given by King Abdullah to his female citizens when he expanded their political rights in his last speech on 25 September 2011. We expect the right to drive to be assured in the next coming weeks, but the Ministry of Interior (as shown by its recent actions) insists on turning back the clock.
The Right2Dignity campaign calls on all women who have been harassed by security services or the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution to contact the members of the Right2Dignity campaign in order to report all the actions that were taken against them.
We ask that any woman who is summoned for prosecution do the following:
1. To refuse the Security services to investigate her and instead, demand that the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution to conduct the investigation according to just legal procedures.
2. To demand her right to a lawyer to represent her according to just legal procedures.
3. To issue a written statement if she experiences any form of physical or legal harassment. She must state her full name and the nature of these harassments. Publication is the best remedy to end these harassments.
The Right2Dignity campaign hopes that the Saudi authorities address the issue of women’s right to drive and depend on herself. This is required legally, according to Islamic Sharia, as well as international agreements that Saudi Arabia has ratified.