Saudi King Abdullah has overturned a court ruling sentencing a Saudi woman to be lashed 10 times for defying the kingdom’s ban on female drivers, a government official said Wednesday.
The official declined to elaborate on the monarch’s decision, and spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.
A Saudi court on Tuesday found Shaima Jastaina guilty of violating the driving ban, and sentenced her to 10 lashes. The verdict took Saudi women by surprise, coming just a day 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.