A Saudi Arabian man has been jailed for one year for calling for an end to Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system that gives men wide controls over women, local media, Okaz daily reported Tuesday.
The government demands that every woman has a male legal guardian, usually the father, husband or brother and needs his permission to travel, marry and take certain kinds of jobs.
The man, who was also fined 30,000 riyals (£6,500) by a court in the eastern city of Dammam, was convicted of “inciting to end guardianship of women” in statements he posted on Twitter and in public posters.
According to the Okaz daily newspaper, he was arrested while putting up posters in mosques in Al-Hasa district calling for an end to the unique system that subjects women in the ultra-conservative kingdom to male control.
During interrogation by the police, he confessed to being the person behind an online campaign to end the guardianship system.
Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.
Activists say that even female prisoners have to be received by the male guardian when they are released which means, some have to languish in jail or a shelter beyond their sentences if the man does not want to accept them.