Spanish Justice Minister in Saudi womens rights incident

Ban on female journalists leads López Aguilar to cancel conference in Riad

The Justice minister, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, has cancelled attending a conference in an Islamic University in Riad, the capital of Saudi Arabia following the ban on 4 female journalists who were accompanying him.

The University of Imam in Riad used the fact that the University is male only as the justification not to allow the 4 journalists to attend the conference during the Justice minister’s trip to Saudi Arabia. Esther Bazán from Cadena Ser was one of the journalists affected by the ban.

In respect for Arabic tradition the journalists had gone totally covered up, dressed in black wearing head scarfs. However this was not enough for the University authorities according to Esther Bazán.

Sources from the Spanish Ministry of Justice said that it was unacceptable to participate in an act in which women were discriminated against.

The Saudi Ministry of Justice has tried to resolve the situation and in contrast with the university authorities the Spanish delegation, which included the 4 female journalists, has been respectfully received during the rest of their visit.

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