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Published on May 27, 2011
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Original translation by @FreeBenghazi, with help from Eman Al Nafjan (@Saudiwoman) and Errafat Thabet (@samwaddah). Video production by Maisie Cohen. Co-ordinated by Jess Hill (@jessradio).
On Thursday May 19, Manal al-Sharif, a 32-year-old IT consultant, got in her car and drove through the streets of Khobar in Saudi Arabia. Sharif had a passenger with her -- Wajeha al-Huwaider, a women's rights activist. Al-Huwaider filmed al-Sharif driving, and the two women talked about the limitations they face as women in the Gulf kingdom.
Manal al-Sharif uploaded the video on YouTube, and before it was taken down four days later, it attracted over 600,000 views.
The following day, al-Sharif drove again, this time with her family. The car was stopped by traffic police, and arrested al-Sharif and her brother. They were released later that evening.
Around 2am the following morning, religious police arrived at al-Sharif's house, and arrested her again. Saudi authorities say she will be detained until June 5. Amnesty International has declared al-Sharif a 'prisoner of conscience', and is calling for her immediate release. (http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/commen...)