February 8, 2008
When Drinking Coffee In Saudi Is Illegal – Update
The case of a 37-year old mother-of-three, arrested by religious police for being in the presence of an unrelated male at a Starbucks coffee shop in the Saudi capital, continues to make waves.
Sources close to the story tell CNN the woman in question is of Palestinian origin and holds a U.S. passport. She lives in the coastal city of Jeddah and travels on business to the more conservative capital, Riyadh, once a week.
Sources tell CNN the woman was taken away fromt the Starbucks, threatened with violence, left incommunicado for hours, forced to sign a confession and was strip searched in prison.
Sources add that the man she was with at the Starbucks, a Syrian national, is actually the woman’s employee. He has indicated that he is unwilling to speak out for fear of being deported from Saudi Arabia.
The woman, whose first name is Yara, was detained for several hours before being released to her husband. They are now both back in Jeddah.
— Producer Mohammed Jamjoom contributed to this update.
Source: Inside the Middle East Blog by Hala Gorani, CNN
Di ko keri ito mga sisters. tsk. tsk..