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SAUDI ARABIA WOMEN DRIVING

Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry has warned women not to go ahead with a planned campaign Saturday to defy a ban on female drivers.

Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki said Thursday "laws will be applied against violators and those who demonstrate in support" of women's right to drive.

Social media campaigns have urged Saudi women to take the wheel this Saturday. The push for driving equality has garnered international attention.

On Wednesday, the Interior Ministry said it would crack down against anyone who attempts to "disturb the public peace and open venues to sedition."

Organizers insist the October 26 campaign does not call for gatherings, just driving.

Saudi authorities have charged women who defied the ban in the past with driving without a valid license. But some women have faced more serious charges, such as disturbing public order.



Human Rights Watch on Thursday called for Saudi authorities to end the country's driving ban for women. A researcher for the group, Rothna Begum, said it is "hard to believe that in the 21st century, Saudi Arabia is still barring women from driving."

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