Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saudi woman 'spared lashing' in driving case

AL Jazeera Middle East
Official says King Abdullah has overturned a court order to whip a woman 10 time for the crime of driving.
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2011 21:11

The push for the right to drive has heated up since an activist filmed herself driving and posted the clip online [AFP]
A Saudi government official says King Abdullah has overturned a court verdict that sentenced a Saudi woman to be lashed 10 times for defying the kingdom's ban on women driving.
According to the Associated Press news agency, the official declined to elaborate. He spoke on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media.
A day earlier, a Saudi court found Shaima Jastaina guilty of violating the driving ban, and sentenced her to 10 lashes.
Two other women are reported facing charges related to driving, which one woman earlier told Reuters news agency was an act of "necessity" not defiance.
It was the first time a legal punishment had been handed down for breaking the longtime ban in the conservative Muslim kingdom. No laws prohibit women from driving, but conservative religious edicts have banned it.
Earlier this week, Abdullah announced that women will have the right to vote and run in the country's 2015 local elections.

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