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Woman sentenced to 10 lashes for driving a car in Saudi Arabia

The verdict comes as another woman goes on trial for the same offence in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Image: Hassan Ammar/AP/Press Association Images

A WOMAN HAS been sentenced to 10 lashes in Saudi Arabia for defying the kingdom’s ban on women driving, according to activists.

Shaima Ghassaniya was today found guilty of driving without the government’s permission, campaigner Samar Badawi said.

No laws prohibit women from driving, but conservative religious edicts have banned it.

The ruling comes just two days after Saudi King Abdullah announced that, for the first time, women have the right to vote and run in the country’s 2015 local elections.

Yesterday it emerged that Najalaa Harriri would also face trial for driving a car, after getting behind the wheel as part of a campaign for female equality. Harriri told the Associated Press she needed to drive to take better care of her children.

Tuesday’s verdict is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. Other women were detained for several days, but had not been sentenced by a court.

Read more: Saudi Arabian woman to face trial for driving a car>

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