BBC report of November 29, 2013. A link is here, text pasted below.
her Twitter page, Ms Nafjan provided a running account of their drive,
saying they bought a bunch of bananas without anyone batting an eyelid.
She posted a photo of them filling up at a petrol station and expressed her
satisfaction that this all seemed to be treated as an everyday occurrence.
But then they were spotted and reported to the police, who stopped them.
Aziza al Yousef messaged the BBC to say that they had been taken to a police
Both were asked to sign a pledge that they would not drive again. Ms Nafjan
On Twitter, while still with the police, she said that if she was asked to
call her male guardian, she would simply say that she was her own guardian. But
her guardian -- known as a mahram -- was called against her wishes.
The two women were then released. Ms Nafjan described her companion as the
bravest and most courageous of drivers. It was only two days ago that Aziza al
Yousef -- with another activist, Hala al-Dosari -- had a meeting with the
Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.
The prince has long been one of the most powerful men in the country and is
seen as a possible future king -- representing a younger generation than the
current leaders. Activists said the meeting was positive and the minister
No-one expected this to herald any big change in the immediate future. Reform
is a gradual process in Saudi Arabia and there remain powerful factions opposed
to lifting the driving ban on women.
But the meeting came after activists relaunched a campaign several months ago
with the aim of making the idea of women driving in Saudi Arabia a normal part
They originally set 26 October as a day for women -- with the support of
Saudi men -- to take to the wheel.
Dozens did, but the authorities made clear
they would not accept a mass flouting of the ban.
Since then, activists have recast the campaign around the non-existent day of
November 31 -- a sign that it would continue indefinitely. Several women have
been driving and posting videos of themselves since.
The meeting with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef had been seen as possibly offering
fresh hope that the authorities might be taking a softer stance.
The brief detention of Aziza al Yousef and Eman al Nafjan is an abrupt
reminder that nothing can be taken for granted in Saudi Arabia -- and that a
shift one way often only signals a shift in the exact opposite direction a few