Saudi woman to get 10 lashes for driving a car

Associated Press
FILE - In this Friday, April 29, 2011 file photo, a Saudi woman attends a traditional Arda dance, or War dance, during the Janadriyah Festival of Heritage and Culture, on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi King Abdullah has given the kingdom's women the right to vote for first time in nationwide local elections, due in 2015. The king said in an annual speech on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 before his advisory assembly, or Shura Council, that Saudi women will be able to run and cast ballots in the 2015 municipal elections. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
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CAIRO (AP) — Saudi activists say a court has sentenced a Saudi woman with 10 lashes for defying the kingdom's ban on women driving.

Activist Samar Badawi says Shaima Ghassaniya was found guilty Tuesday of driving without the government's permission.

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.

Najalaa Harriri, who is also facing court for driving, 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.

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