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Saudi woman driver’s lashing ‘overturned by king’

September 29, 2011

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has overturned a court ruling sentencing a woman to 10 lashes for breaking a ban on female drivers, reports say.

In recent months, scores of women have driven vehicles in Saudi cities to put pressure on the monarchy.

'Cause for optimism'
Jedda-based journalist Maha Akeel said the initial court ruling had gone against the general trend, with police stopping few Saudi women drivers.

"It seems the official stand is to ignore those women... and let the public slowly get used to to the idea of women driving before making it official," she told the BBC.

"So far, the reaction has been positive. Most of the people have no problem."

There was cause for optimism, both in terms of the right to drive and participation in wider, political society, she added.

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