Saudi Prince Says Woman Won't Be Lashed for Driving

Prince Alwaleed says he lobbied King Abdullah on Shaima Ghassaniya's behalf

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Saudi King Abdullah has revoked the 10 lashes sentenced to Shaima Ghassaniya for disobeying the country's ban on women at the wheel, reports the Agence France Press. The news was apparently broken on the Twitter account of Princess Amira Al Taweel, wife of billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, when she wrote, "Thank God, the lashing of Sheima is cancelled. Thanks to our beloved King. I'm sure all Saudi women will be so happy, I know I am." The Princess and her husband had vocally opposed the sentence. "This was a barbaric and inhuman decision to lash a Saudi lady for driving," Alwaleed told Forbes's Kerry A. Dolan. "It’s clear some backward-thinking elements in the Saudi society want to harm the King’s name." Apparently, after expressing disapproval for the sentence the King revoked the lashes. Amira Al Taweel got confirmation from her husband, who also commented in a later Forbes piece to Dolan. "I lobbied the government and the King all the way," Alwaleed said in a text message. While both the Prince and his wife have confirmed the news, we have yet to come across comments from King Abdullah or the Saudi government.

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