Riyadh — The night the Saudi government declared an end to its ban on women driving, Aziza Alyousef was elated. The retired professor was inundated with celebratory calls and messages after years of fighting for the freedom. She couldn’t wait to get in line for a licence. "I want to be number one" Alyousef told a reporter after the government’s announcement in September. Alyousef now awaits the milestone behind bars. She was detained last month, along with some of the most outspoken women’s rights advocates in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom. With days to go before the ban is lifted, nine of the 17 people arrested remain in prison, accused of aiding enemies of the state. Their names were splashed across the front page of a local newspaper, branding them traitors. They’ve been anonymously accused of being agents of Qatar, which is feuding with Saudi Arabia. The public prosecutor says those in custody have admitted to charges including "co-operating with individuals and organis...

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