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Woman arrested in Saudi Arabia for driving

  • Story Highlights
  • Woman attempted to flee when she realized police had spotted her driving
  • In the process of fleeing, police say she hit another car, which was slightly damaged
  • Women are barred from driving in most of Saudi Arabia, except for rural areas
  • Last year, over 125 women signed and sent a petition to overturn the restriction
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(CNN) -- Police in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca Wednesday arrested a woman for violating the country's ban on women driving, according to the Saudi English-language daily Arab News.

The woman, whose nationality and name were not released but who was described as being in her 20s, attempted to flee when she realized police had spotted her driving, Saudi authorities said.

"The woman tried to escape when she saw a police car and in the process hit another car, which was slightly damaged," Maj. Abdul Mushin Al-Mayman, a police spokesman, told Arab News. According to the spokesman, the woman was turned over to the Saudi Prosecution and Investigation Commission for investigation.

Women are barred from driving in most of Saudi Arabia, with rural areas being the exception.

It is not known how frequent such arrests are in Saudi Arabia, and arrest statistics are not released.

The issue has become one of the more controversial ones for Saudi Arabia in recent years. While women's rights activists in the country have been openly campaigning for the right to drive, many high ranking officials maintain it is a societal issue and will be resolved only when Saudis feel the time is right.

Last year, more than 125 women signed and sent a petition to Saudi Interior Minister Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, asking that the ban on women driving in the kingdom to be overturned.

CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom contributed to this report.

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