Manal Al-Sharif (also spelled ‘Al-Sharief’ in some media reports) has been released from detention in Al-Khobar, Arab News reports. She spent 10 days in detention after being arrested for breaking no written law. Publicity on her detention has been extensive in the Saudi media. The report says that she was released through the actions of the police, with no mention of higher-ups requesting or demanding it.
Manal Al-Sharif released
IRAJ WAHAB | ARAB NEWS
DAMMAM: Alkhobar police on Monday evening ordered the release of Manal Al-Sharif, the 32-year-old Saudi woman arrested on May 21 for driving in Alkhobar, a day after she posted footage on the video-sharing website YouTube showing her behind the wheel.
Speaking through an interpreter, attorney Adnan Al-Saleh told Arab News that Alkhobar police issued her release orders.
Khaled Al-Fakheri of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) confirmed to Arab News later that she was freed from the women’s detention center in Dammam. “Yes, I can confirm, she has been released,” he said.
When she was first arrested by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Alkhobar, she was asked to sign a mandatory paper stating that she would not break the Kingdom’s laws again. She was released but rearrested the next day for violating public order. On Thursday, the authorities extended her detention for 10 days.
Reports of her release were the subject of intense discussion on social media websites. Many Saudis, especially from the burgeoning middle class, seemed delighted at the end of her ordeal.