WATCH

Saudi Arabia Starts Issuing Driving Licenses to Women

Surprise move comes as several women who campaigned for right to drive are still under arrest

A Saudi woman displays her brand new driving license at the General Department of Traffic in Riyadh, June 4, 2018.
Untitled/AP

Saudi Arabia has issued the first driving licenses to 10 women as it prepares to lift the world's only ban on women driving on June 24, but the surprise move comes as a number of women who'd campaigned for the right to drive are under arrest.

The government issued a statement saying the 10 women were issued the licenses at the General Department of Traffic in the capital, Riyadh, on Monday. International media weren't present for the event.

Read more: The Real Reason Saudi Arabia Will Let Women Drive and It's Not About Women's Rights | Saudi Arabia Will Let Women Drive, but Here Is a List of Things They Still Can't Do

The women took a brief driving test before receiving their licenses as they'd already held driving licenses from other countries, including the U.K., Lebanon and Canada.

The surprise move comes as four iconic Saudi women's rights activists who'd campaigned for the right to drive remain under arrest, facing possible trial.