Saudi Woman Sentenced To 10 Lashings For Driving - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Saudi Woman Sentenced To 10 Lashings For Driving

AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File

CAIRO—A Saudi woman was sentenced Tuesday to be lashed 10 times with a whip for defying the kingdom's prohibition on female drivers, the first time a legal punishment has been handed down for a violation of the longtime ban in the ultraconservative Muslim nation.

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.

Making Tuesday's sentence all the more upsetting to activists is that it came just two days 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 mixed signals highlight the challenge for Abdullah, known as a reformer, in pushing gently for change without antagonizing the powerful clergy and a conservative segment of the population.

Abdullah said he had the backing of the official clerical council. But activists saw Tuesday's sentencing as a retaliation of sorts from the hard-line Saudi religious establishment that controls the courts and oversees the intrusive religious police.

"Our king doesn't deserve that," said Sohila Zein el-Abydeen, a prominent female member of the governmental National Society for Human Rights. She burst into tears in a phone interview and said, "The verdict is shocking to me, but we were expecting this kind of reaction."

The driver, Shaima Jastaina, in her 30s, was found guilty of driving without permission, activist Samar Badawi said. The punishment is usually carried out within a month. It was not possible to reach Jastaina, but Badawi, in touch with Jastaina's family, said she appealed the verdict.

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.

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.

Activists say the religious justification is irrelevant.

To read more, CLICK HERE

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Health advisory issued for Fernan Lake

    Health advisory issued for Fernan Lake

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 7:25 PM EDT2018-07-18 23:25:34 GMT
    Panhandle Health DistrictPanhandle Health District

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - Panhandle Health District (PHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have issued a health advisory for Fernan Lake. PHD is urging the public to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Water quality monitoring confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. Blue-green algal blooms have the potential to produce dangerous toxins in areas of the lake. 

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - Panhandle Health District (PHD) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have issued a health advisory for Fernan Lake. PHD is urging the public to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Water quality monitoring confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. Blue-green algal blooms have the potential to produce dangerous toxins in areas of the lake. 

    >>
  • Dog missing after fatal Spokane Valley crash has been found

    Dog missing after fatal Spokane Valley crash has been found

    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:19 PM EDT2018-07-19 17:19:32 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - UPDATE: Pamela called KHQ this morning to let us know her beloved dog Pearl has been found after our story aired Wednesday night. She tells us she's going to pick Pearl up from SCRAPS Thursday.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - UPDATE: Pamela called KHQ this morning to let us know her beloved dog Pearl has been found after our story aired Wednesday night. She tells us she's going to pick Pearl up from SCRAPS Thursday.

    >>
  • Spokane man facing involuntary manslaughter charges

    Spokane man facing involuntary manslaughter charges

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 10:52 PM EDT2018-07-19 02:52:50 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A judge has picked the jury for the trial of a man charged in the deaths of three people who died in a 2016 boat crash on Lake Coeur d'Alene, but the start has been delayed. Wednesday, both the prosecutors and the defense were hoping to begin opening arguments, but they are still tied up in motions that have delayed the start. The jury was selected in the case for Dennis Magner, but they were asked to leave while both sides continue their motions. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A judge has picked the jury for the trial of a man charged in the deaths of three people who died in a 2016 boat crash on Lake Coeur d'Alene, but the start has been delayed. Wednesday, both the prosecutors and the defense were hoping to begin opening arguments, but they are still tied up in motions that have delayed the start. The jury was selected in the case for Dennis Magner, but they were asked to leave while both sides continue their motions. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/