Entries in Sheima Ghassaniya (1)


King Abdullah Steps In; No Lashing for Female Saudi Driver

A Saudi woman gets out of a car after being given a ride by her driver. FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images(JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia) -- Just two days after Saudi King Abdullah announced that women in Saudi Arabia would be permitted to vote in 2015, he has now called off the court-ordered lashing of Shaima Ghassaniya. The court sentenced Ghassaniya Monday to 10 lashes after finding the woman guilty of driving a car -- a punishable action for Saudi women.

Neither the royal court nor the Saudi government have issued official statements regarding the overturned sentence, but news spread after Saudi Princess Amira Al Taweel tweeted her reaction.

"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," she wrote.

The report has been confirmed by Arab news channel Al Arabiya.

Recently, Saudi women have protested the female driving ban, calling on women throughout the country to operate vehicles in defiance.  Some women have exposed themselves to risks of violence from Saudi men, to drive in protest of the ban.

An actual law forbidding women to drive does not exist in Saudi Arabia, according to The Washington Post. However, conservative religious orders do not allow Saudi women to drive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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