Sick Saudi woman dies after ambulance denied access

Saudi Arabia

File Photo: A veiled woman walks in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 (Photo: AP)

The death of an ailing woman student at a Saudi university has stirred controversy on social media after an ambulance was denied access under the conservative Muslim kingdom’s segregation laws.

Amna Bawazeer, 24, died of a heart attack in the compound of the social sciences faculty of Riyadh’s King Saud University.

Local media said medics in an ambulance were denied access because they were not accompanied by a “mahram”, a legal guardian or male member of her family.

Angry female students have gone on Twitter to blame faculty officials for Bawazeer’s death.

But the university’s administration hit back in a statement to stress that the student had suffered from a heart condition from the age of four.

She had died of a heart attack which proved fatal, despite the best efforts of the faculty’s own infirmary to save her life.

In 2002, 15 young girls died in a school fire in the holy city of Mecca after religious police blocked their evacuation because they were not dressed in keeping with Islamic codes.[More]