Saudi man sentenced to prison for starting Twitter campaign to liberate women
| Saturday, 12.31.2016, 04:15 PM

SAUDI ARABIA - A Saudi man has been sentenced to a year in jail for putting up posters inside of mosques asking the government to give women more rights and to end male guardianship over them.

The unnamed man was also fined 30,000 riyals after being convicted of "inciting to end guardianship of women", the daily Okaz newspaper reported.

He was arrested while putting up posters inside mosques which called for the government to abolish strict rules giving men control over women.

The man admitted to pinning up posters in several mosques and said he solely launched an "awareness campaign" after finding some "female relatives were facing injustice at the hands of their families.”

A Human Rights Watch report on male guardianship, published in July, found "a woman's life is controlled by a man from birth until death" in Saudi Arabia, as their ability to pursue a career or make life decisions is restricted. 

Despite limited reforms in 2009 and 2013 to reduce male control over women, which included no longer requiring permission for women to work and making domestic abuse illegal, the report found the system remains largely in place.

Others took to Twitter, using the hashtag #TogetherToEndMaleGuardianship and an Arabic translation, to show their support and demand social reform.

The court claimed the defendant had launched the Twitter campaign.

In September, more than 14,500 women signed a petition calling for an end to the system and leading women's rights campaigner Aziza al-Yousef delivered the petition to the royal court.

The activism comes on the heels of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal stating that the country should finally allow women to drive.  



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