(DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia) -- After spending nine days in a women’s jail in Dammam, Saudi Arabia for driving, Manal Al Sharif has been freed. But in what is likely a condition of her release, she’s quitting the Women2Drive campaign, which appeals to Saudi authorities that women be allowed to drive. The women’s rights campaigner has allegedly written a pledge saying she will not drive a car again or participate in any upcoming protests.
Since leaving jail, Al Sharif has also issued a statement in which she addresses a woman’s right to drive. She writes, "I will leave it up to our Leader in whose discretion I entirely trust, to weigh the pros and cons and reach a decision that will take into consideration the best interests of the People, while also being pleasing to Allah, and in line with Divine Law."
It is unclear at this point whether officials coerced Al Sharif into writing the pledge and giving up the campaign, but what is clear is that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not ready to drop the driving ban for women.
The Women2Drive group has been urging women to take part in a mass drive on June 17, but after Al Sharif’s arrest, many doubt this will now go ahead.
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