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Feb 08,2008
U.S. woman goes for coffee, is jailed
by UPI

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A U.S. businesswoman says she was jailed and strip-searched for sitting in a Starbucks with a male colleague in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The 37-year-old woman, a married mother of three, told The Times of London she was arrested by religious police, held in prison for a day, threatened and forced to sign a false confession.

The woman -- who would only identify herself by her first name, Yara, because of the possibility of retribution -- said she was bruised and crying when she was released.

Yara told the newspaper she planned to remain in Saudi Arabia and would challenge the country's enforcement of conservative Islam.

"If I want to make a difference I have to stick around," she said. "If I leave they win. I can't just surrender to the terrorist acts of these people."

Yara said she moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, eight years ago with her businessman husband.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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