BY SASHA INGBER
At least six prominent defenders of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia were detained this week, six weeks before the kingdom’s ban on women from driving is due to be lifted June 24.
Activist Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested at her home on Tuesday evening, according to Amnesty International. She campaigned against the decades-old driving ban and ranked No. 3 in a list of the most powerful Arab women for her work.
Amnesty International named three other women who were detained as Eman al-Nafjan, who became widely known for her activism; Aziza al-Yousef, a fellow leader in the campaign to drive; and Aisha al-Manea, who campaigned for women’s right to drive since the early ’90s. She is a 70-year-old who survived a heart attack last year, according to Australian-based Saudi activist Manal al-Sharif.
It is unclear why the activists were arrested.