FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 file photo, a veiled woman walks in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Aya Batrawy, File)
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A top Saudi cleric has scolded women who visit male doctors without being accompanied by a male guardian, claiming that is prohibited by Islam, Al-Hayat daily reported Thursday.Al-Hayat said the notorious religious police in Eastern Province have enforced restrictions on women entering several private medical centres without a male guardian.In 2002, 15 girls died after a fire broke out at their school in the holy city of Mecca and religious police blocked their evacuation because they were not dressed in keeping with Islamic codes.Witnesses said male civil defence workers were kept at bay because, in their haste to escape the flames, the 12-to-14-year-olds had not put on their black abaya robes, which cover the entire body. Saudi Arabia imposes a strict interpretation of Islamic laws, notably a segregation of the sexes, and does not allow women to work or travel without the authorisation of a male guardian from her family.
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