>> Saudi women maybe looking forward to the end of the Kingdom's ban on female drivers, but some of the most prominent women activists who fought for the right to sit behind the wheel are instead behind bars. International rights groups have condemned the arrests of at least seven campaigners, images like these have hit the headlines in recent months.
The decision to end a decades old ban on women driving cars held as proof of a new progressive trend under a forward minded crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman. But the bold reforms have been accompanied by a crack down on descent. A government statement says the arrests are for suspicious contacts with foreign entities and offering financial support to enemies overseas.
Women will be allowed to drive starting in June 24th, however, activists and analysts say the government is keen to avoid rewarding activism, which is forbidden in the absolute monarchy. And may also aim to avoid antagonizing the sensitivities of religious conservatives opposed to modernization. Human rights watch say the only crime it appears the detained women committed was wanting to drive before the powerful crown prince said it was okay.