Flogging sentence for Saudi Arabian woman after driving ban 'beggars belief'

The decision to sentence a woman to 10 lashes after she drove a car in Saudi Arabia demonstrates the scale of discrimination against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in the Kingdom, Amnesty International said today (Tues 27 Sept).

Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Philip Luther said:

“Flogging is a cruel punishment in all circumstances but it beggars belief that the authorities in Saudi Arabia have imposed lashes on a woman apparently for merely driving a car.

“Belatedly allowing Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights 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.”

“Saudi Arabia needs to go much further. The whole system of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s subordination to men needs to be dismantled.”

The sentence was passed by a court in Jeddah on Tuesday 27 September. Two other Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are believed to be facing charges for driving, one in Jeddah and one in al-Khobar.

The Minister of Interior has formally banned Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights from driving in Saudi Arabia since 1990, when a group of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights staged a driving protest to challenge a customary ban in place until then.

Earlier this year an online campaign called on Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who hold international driving licences to start driving on Saudi Arabian roads.

The “Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights2Drive” campaign has used Facebook and Twitter to encourage Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights to drive as part of their normal daily activities rather than converge in one place.

Corporal punishment, particularly flogging, is routinely imposed as a sentence by courts in Saudi Arabia.

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