JEDDAH: Saudi King Abdullah has revoked a sentence of 10 lashes imposed on a woman for breaking the ban on women driving in the conservative kingdom, a Saudi princess said Wednesday on her Twitter account.
“Thank God, the lashing of Sheima is cancelled. Thanks to our beloved King. I’m sure all Saudi women will be so happy, I know I am,” said Princess Amira al-Taweel, wife of billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
“In tough times we stand together; in good times we celebrate together,” the princess said. “I’m proud to be Saudi. To all Active Saudi women thank u for ur efforts.”
Sheima Jastaniah was sentenced on Monday by a court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where she was caught driving in July, a rights activist said.
“We were shocked yesterday (Monday) that she was sentenced to 10 lashes,” the activist said, adding Jastaniah would appeal the verdict.
The sentence came a day after the king announced women would be allowed to vote and to run in municipal polls, and to join the all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, a first in a country that imposes many restrictions on women.
Amnesty International condemned the sentence, saying it demonstrated the “scale of discrimination against women in the kingdom.”