Saudi woman freed after serving over 6 months in jail for disobeying father

Riyadh, Oct 26 (ANI): A Saudi woman, who was thrown in prison without any formal charge or trial by a Jeddah judge for disobeying her father, has finally been released after spending over six months in prison, Saudi media has reported.

According to reports, 32-year-old Samar Badawi was freed yesterday on the orders of the governor of the Mecca region and a powerful member of the Saudi ruling family, Prince Khalid al-Faisal, reported.

Her release came after a concerted campaign by human rights activists inside and outside Saudi Arabia, urging King Abdullah to intervene in the case, which they said was an example of the abuses against women brought about by the country's rigid guardian system.

Under the system, a Saudi woman must have the permission of her official "mahram" or male guardian- her father, husband, brother or son- for matters like travel, work and marriage.

Badawi, who is a divorced mother and lived away from her father in a women's shelter, had filed her own case asking the court to remove her father as her guardian, saying that he had mistreated her since childhood and had denied her the permission to remarry.

But instead, the judge accused her of being disobedient to her father, and sent her to prison on April 4 this year.

However, after Prince Khalid reportedly recommended the Badawi be released, and proposed her case be sent to a reconciliation committee, she was released into the oversight of her uncle, her new official guardian. (ANI)

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