SAUDI ARABIA: Woman sentenced to flogging for driving

Driving campaign

A court in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, has sentenced a woman to 10 lashes for defying the kingdom’s ban on female drivers, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

News of the decision came just two days after King Abdullah surprised his ultraconservative nation by announcing that women would be given the right to vote, run for local office and serve on the Shura Council, the king's advisory board.

Human rights activists at the time said the reforms did not go far enough to address the plight of women in a country where they cannot work, marry or travel abroad without the permission of a male guardian -- and can't obtain a driver's license.

"The whole system of women’s subordination to men in Saudi Arabia needs to be dismantled," Philip Luther, an Amnesty International regional deputy director, said in a statement. "Belatedly allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement, then the king’s much-trumpeted 'reforms' actually amount to very little.”

The Associated Press identified the woman sentenced Tuesday as Shaima Ghassaniya. Two other women are believed to be facing charges for driving, one in Jidda and one in Khobar, Amnesty said.

A number of women were arrested over the summer for participating in a campaign protesters organized via Twitter and Facebook urging those who held international driving licenses to start driving on Saudi roads. But this is the first time one of the women has been sentenced.

ALSO:

SAUDI ARABIA: Reforms will allow women to vote but not drive

SOUTH AFRICA: 'Dr. Death' could be stripped of medical license

ISRAEL: 1,100 new housing units in East Jerusalem win approval

-- Alexandra Zavis in Los Angeles

Photo: In this June 17 image made from video released by Change.org, a Saudi woman drives a car in Riyadh as part of a campaign to defy the kingdom's ban on women driving. Credit: Change.org

 
Comments () | Archives (0)

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

Times Global Bureaus »

Click on bureau location to view articles

In Case You Missed It...

Video

Recent Posts

Archives
 



Archives
 

In Case You Missed It...