A Saudi woman has been sentenced to to 10 lashes for challenging a ban on women driving.It isn't that the Saudis are giving her lashes for driving - it is because she was driving without a license!
Amnesty International reported the sentence just two days after Saudi King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections.
"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", Philip Luther, an Amnesty regional deputy director, said in an emailed statement.
"Allowing women 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," Mr Luther said.
Two other women are also believed to be facing charges related to driving, the Amnesty statement said.
Under Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic laws, women require a male guardian's permission to work, travel abroad or undergo certain types of surgery.
There is no law banning women from driving, but there is a law requiring citizens to use locally issued licences while in the country. Such licences are not issued to women, making it effectively illegal for them to drive.
No doubt men would receive the same punishment. How dare the Islamophobic Western media imply that she was sentenced merely for driving!