Saudi king 'revokes' woman driver's lashing sentence

By AFP
Published: September 28, 2011

King Abdullah has revoked a sentence of 10 lashes imposed on a woman for breaking the ban on women driving. PHOTO: AFP

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.”

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Mirza
    Sep 29, 2011 - 12:22AM

    The God (King) has spoken! There is no written constitution in SA, his words are the laws. He has shown “mercy” but did he change the draconian law? It is all smoke and mirrors to fool the West.

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  • Eeman
    Sep 29, 2011 - 12:23AM

    Amira al-Taweel is one of the sanest voice in the Kingdom.

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  • mariam.b
    Sep 29, 2011 - 12:23AM

    Good step

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  • Proud Pakistani
    Sep 29, 2011 - 12:27AM

    I am just choking to follow what everyone else has to say on this.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Sep 29, 2011 - 12:31AM

    its lifted allready then what is point for lashing i dont get it and its not a crime to drive
    please use your brains macho saudis.

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  • Jameel
    Sep 29, 2011 - 12:37AM

    Thank God, the lashing of Sheima is
    cancelled. Thanks to our beloved King.

    If King is so loveable why doesn’t he revoke the law that punishes women for driving?

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  • Iftekhar
    Sep 29, 2011 - 1:06AM

    =D I think it was a plan you know, give sentence and then revoke it. So all the women will be like ohhh!!! the king rocks!!

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  • Best friend
    Sep 29, 2011 - 2:31AM

    I hope our Jamaat-e-Islami friends are watching. We are not Arabs plain and simple. We have no cultural or historical relation with them. We only share a religion with them and thats it.

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  • Ahmed Malik
    Sep 29, 2011 - 2:48AM

    @Eeman:
    And so is Prince Al-Waleed. The liberal voice of KSA. Check out Prince Waleed’s videos on youtube. If he would not have been a Prince he would have been stoned to death for his Liberal ideas in his Kingdom.

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  • Honorliving
    Sep 29, 2011 - 2:57AM

    What? No lashing this weekend? But I already bought my tickets for the front row.

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  • BruteForce
    Sep 29, 2011 - 8:27AM

    I thought being a liberal is bad! Liberals in Pakistan get abused all the time!

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  • Rakeshna .Bhatia
    Sep 29, 2011 - 9:21AM

    The Saudis are the worst example of how they use their Islamic hold to deny women rights, we in Pakistan pretend that women have more rights but it has taken us many years to prove to the male population demanding they judge us by the job we do not by our gender.
    The Saudis on the other hand have denied basic women’s rights while the men can display vulgar behavior patterns and enjoy no judgement.
    Remember the terrorist of 911 were ALL Saudis and they brutally suppress their own people and force them to commit acts of terror. They have used cheap labor from India and Pakistan and even thought these people enjoy a better quality of life they will never enjoy permanent residence in any of the Arab countries and this is a well hidden face.
    The Saudis also tend to play both sides of the fence, they have a thriving relation with former Bush family and many of them have formed lucrative business in the land of SAUD

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  • islooboy
    Sep 29, 2011 - 9:40AM

    many women drive in pakistan especially islamabad i dont think there is any thing unislamic about women driving but be prepared to see rise in accident cause girls are bad drivers :)

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  • Jameel Ahmed
    Sep 29, 2011 - 11:21AM

    I fail to understand which is Islamic – the driving, the verdict or an act of revoke? If the verdict was Islamic, how can a King change it? If it was not islamic, why it was awarded at the first place? The country is filled with contradictions all over.

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  • Asad
    Sep 29, 2011 - 2:17PM

    Great Step by the King….So the Saudis are after all not as bad as they are portrayed by the media…Interesting to note that the paranoid bashers of saudis were criticizing Saudia Arabia (and even Islam) when the lashing sentence news was published and now that it has been revoked, they are still critizing Saudi Arabia…Its not about human rights or sympathy with women..its about an enmity with Saudi Arabia (because the country has the holiest Islamic places!)

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  • saleem
    Sep 29, 2011 - 4:37PM

    Its about time someone gave lashes to these courts and judges in KSA

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  • Sarah
    Sep 29, 2011 - 4:38PM

    @Asad,

    Actually, it isn’t the Saudis themselves that are bad, it is the mullahs of that country that provoke such outrage in the world because of seemingly brainwashing techniques. So what if Saudi has the two holiest shrines of Islam? Does that mean that treating women as second class citizens and basically treating the world with disdain makes them better Muslims? It isn’t the shrines or the rituals that make someone a spiritual person, it is trying to be a better person for the love of God. I’ve ready quite a few books about Saudi life and how people can be treated over there, particularly the lower class and servants. It is unbelievable how cruelly some people suffer. There are many nice Saudis I am sure, and they seem to be modernizing some, but they have a long road ahead of them, and all because of Wahhibism. Fundamentalism in any religion does not promote much tolerance, love, or compassion.

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  • MUHAMMAD NABEEL
    Sep 29, 2011 - 6:08PM

    Actually they want to save there kingdom and praise there king by such remarks they are cowered and know the result of anarchy of Libya, Egypt……

    Driving a car for women is not a crime in Today’s Modern world actually they want to put back women in their society and treat them like a slave so they can do want they can with them. by using the name of Islam they are abusing the values of Islam. don’t get panic i am also a Muslim but treating women in Saudi society is just pathetic. Think out of the box she might be your daughter,sister,mother,wife………

    by going through such mentality we are making fun of our religion and values. things got change with the passage of time and its time for scholars to educate people and move religion in everyday practice.

    now a days we use cars for transportation why we are not using horses? i am asking because have a good or best horse or sword by Sunnah. no one go to office on horse the reason is that time has changed know cars are used by the same means in this fast life why Saudi Government is not giving rights to their women.

    where is the macho of Saudi youth goes at this time then they seen such remarks from there Government. on the other hand side came and see the life style of Saudi’s in European countries specially in London came and see at Edgware. then we will realize the dual face and double standards of such people. we want to apply all the values on our women and we are free from all.

    these double standards are one of the main cause of our failure in Today’s world. our so called Scholars are just the name of Scholars actually they are so cowered to take any stand or step against such sick society.

    even though we are not providing any sound education to our sisters. as a reality the are more in number then males.

    time to rethink otherwise we have no right to blame west for ruling us.

    you have hundred million reason to comment on my thoughts but read between the lines and come out of the box. take care

    MAY ALLAH SWT GIVE US HIDAYAAT.AMEEN
    ALLAH HAFIZ

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  • Ram Bharose Singh
    Sep 29, 2011 - 9:15PM

    I am disappointed. I did not expect this from HIS EXALTED HIGHNESS King Abdullah. What is the world coming to? I don’t know.

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