Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court

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DUBAI-

Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month after violating the kingdom’s female driving ban have been referred to a court established to try terrorism cases on charges related to comments they made on social media.

Several people close to the defendants told a foreign news agency that the women’s defense lawyers immediately appealed Thursday’s decision to transfer their case to the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh, which was established to try terrorism cases but has also been used to try activists.

They say that Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-Amoudi, 33, are not being charged for defying the driving ban but for opinions they voiced online. They declined to elaborate on the specific charges due to the sensitivity of the case.

All spoke anonymously for fear of government reprisal.

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