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Saudi King saves woman driver from 10 lashes

Saudi King Abdullah has revoked a sentence of 10 lashes imposed on a woman for breaking the ban on women driving in the conservative kingdom, a Saudi princess said yesterday on her Twitter account.

"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," said Princess Amira al-Taweel, wife of billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

"In tough times we stand together; in good times we celebrate together," the princess said.

"I'm proud to be Saudi.  To all Active Saudi women thank u for ur efforts."

Sheima Jastaniah was sentenced on Monday by a court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where she was caught driving in July, a rights activist said.

"We were shocked on Monday that she was sentenced to 10 lashes," the activist said, adding Jastaniah would appeal the verdict.

The sentence came a day after the king announced women would be allowed to vote and to run in municipal polls, and to join the all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, a first in a country that imposes many restrictions on women.

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