An American Businesswoman Was Arrested in Saudi Arabia

Strip-searched, Threatened and Jailed by the Saudi Religious Police

Her Crime? Sitting with a Male Associate at a Starbucks 

More evidence the Saudis are the best allies a country can have.

A 37-year-old American businesswoman and married mother of three was strip-searched, threatened and forced to sign false confessions by the Kingdom’s “Mutaween”–Saudi Arabia’s religious police–for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks coffee shop in Riyadh.

The woman, “Yara”, who doesn’t want her last name published for fear of threats and reprisals, is seeking justice. When she was released from her day in prison, she was bruised over her body.

The woman was interviewed by The Times and said that she would remain in Saudi Arabia to fight the harsh enforcement of conservative Islam and not return to America.

“If I want to make a difference I have to stick around. If I leave they win. I can’t just surrender to the terrorist acts of these people,” said Yara, who moved to Jeddah eight years ago with her husband, a prominent businessman.

Her ordeal began with a routine visit to the new Riyadh offices of her finance company, where she is a managing partner.

The electricity temporarily cut out, so Yara and her colleagues — who are all men — went to a nearby Starbucks to use its wireless internet.

She sat in a curtained booth with her business partner in the café’s “family” area, the only seats where men and women are allowed to mix.

For Yara, it was a matter of convenience. But in Saudi Arabia, public contact between unrelated men and women is strictly prohibited.

“Some men came up to us with very long beards and white dresses. They asked ‘Why are you here together?’. I explained about the power being out in our office. They got very angry and told me what I was doing was a great sin,” recalled Yara, who wears an abaya and headscarf, like most Saudi women.

The men–from the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, a police force of several thousand men charged with enforcing dress codes, sex segregation and the observance of prayers–were serious.

What happened to “Yara”? What was she subjected to, once arrested?

What was the non-response of the US Embassy?

Read rest of story:

American Mom Strip-searched, Threatened and Jailed by Saudi Religious Police 


American Mom Strip-searched, Threatened and Jailed by Saudi Religious Police

Mondoreb blogs at Death By 1000 Papercuts. Interested readers can e-mail him at All DBKP  stories  are filed under Mondoreb at BNN.

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