Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

France 24 meets George Weah ahead of inauguration

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gymnast's fierce courtroom address

Read more

THE DEBATE

A whole new world: Trump anniversary special

Read more

#TECH 24

Will artificial intelligence ever surpass the human brain?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Aiding migrants in France: What are the legal implications?

Read more

FOCUS

The challenge of clearing Colombia of landmines

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Gambians reflect on first year of democracy

Read more

FASHION

Pitti Uomo in Florence, the world's largest men's fashion showcase

Read more

ENCORE!

Award-winning Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza on keeping it real

Read more

Middle east

Saudi king overturns lashing sentence against woman driver

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-29

A Saudi woman facing 10 lashes for driving a car has had her sentence revoked by King Abdullah, a government official said Wednesday. Saudi Arabia is the only nation in the world that bans women from driving.

AP - Saudi King Abdullah has overturned a court ruling sentencing a Saudi woman to be lashed 10 times for defying the kingdom’s ban on female drivers, a government official said Wednesday.

The official declined to elaborate on the monarch’s decision, and spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

A Saudi court on Tuesday found Shaima Jastaina guilty of violating the driving ban, and sentenced her to 10 lashes. The verdict took Saudi women by surprise, coming just a day after King Abdullah promised to protect women’s rights and decreed that women would be allowed to participate in municipal elections in 2015. Abdullah also promised to appoint women to a currently all-male advisory body known as the Shura Council.

The harsh sentence marked the first time a legal punishment had been handed down since female activists began their campaign in June to break the taboo in this ultraconservative Muslim nation.

There are no written laws that restrict women from driving. Rather, the ban is rooted in conservative traditions and religious views that hold giving freedom of movement to women would make them vulnerable to sins.

Normally, police just stop female drivers, question them and let them go after they sign a pledge not to drive again. But dozens of women have continued to take to the roads since June in a campaign to break the taboo.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women - both Saudi and foreign - from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and those who cannot afford the $300 to $400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor.
 

 

Date created : 2011-09-28

  • SAUDI ARABIA

    Saudi king grants women right to vote

    Read more

  • SAUDI ARABIA

    Saudi women defy driving ban by taking to the wheel

    Read more

COMMENT(S)