Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saudi Arabia – The World's Largest Women's Prison

The title of this article, "Saudi Arabia – The World's Largest Women's Prison" is correct as far as it goes but misses the fact that one half of the 1.5 billion Muslims are women and therefore subject to variations of Sharia law some of which are even more draconian than in Saudi Arabia. It also misses the fact that ALL Muslims are slaves to Islam with death as the penality for leaving.


Saudi Arabia – The World's Largest Women's Prison

In an article on the liberal website Minbar Al-Hiwar Wal-'Ibra (http://www.menber-alhewar1.info ), reformist Saudi journalist and human rights activist Wajeha Al-Huweidar described Saudi Arabia as "the world's largest women's prison." She added that unlike real prisoners, Saudi women have no prospect of ever being released, since throughout their life, they are under the control of a male guardian - their husband, father, grandfather, brother or son.
Huweidar and other women activists recently launched a campaign against the Saudi Mahram [1] Law, which forbids women to leave their home without a male guardian. She told the Kuwaiti daily Awan that the campaign, whose slogan is "treat us like adult citizens or we leave the country," was officially launched at the King Fahd Bridge, connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where the women demanded to cross the border without a guardian. [2]

The following are excerpts from Al-Huweidar's article: [3]
Prisoners Can Be Released From Prison - But Saudi Women Can't
"The laws of imprisonment are known all over the world. People who commit a crime or an offense are placed in a prison cell... where they serve their sentence. [When they complete it], or get time off for good behavior, they are released... except in cases [where a person is sentenced] to life imprisonment or death. In Saudi Arabia, there are two additional ways to get out of prison early: by learning the Koran or parts of it by heart... or by getting a pardon from the king on the occasion of a holiday or a coronation - after which the prisoner finds himself free and can enjoy life among his family and loved ones.

"However, none of these options exist for Saudi women - neither for those who live behind bars [i.e. who are actually in prison] nor for those who live outside the prison walls. None are ever released, except with the permission of their male guardian. A Saudi woman who committed a crime may not leave her cell when she has finished serving her sentence unless her guardian arrives to collect her. As a consequence, many Saudi women remain in prison just because their guardians refuse to come and get them. The state pardons them, but their guardians insist on prolonging their punishment.
"At the same time, even 'free' women need the permission of their guardian to leave their home, their city or their country. So in either case, the woman's freedom is [in the hands of] her guardian."