Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month in defiance of a ban on females driving were referred on Thursday to a court established to try terrorism cases, several people close to the defendants said.

Activists said it marks the first time that women drivers have been referred to the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh, and that their detention is the longest of female drivers in Saudi history.

Four individuals close to Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-Amoudi, 33, said they are not being charged for defying the driving ban but for opinions they voiced online. The individuals declined to elaborate on the specific charges due to the sensitivity of the case. All spoke anonymously for fear of government reprisal.

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