Six months ago, Shaima Jastaniya drove her car in one of Jeddah's streets before getting arrested by the police. In September, Jastaniya was sentenced to 10 lashes for challenging the driving ban but a few days later, news spread that she received a pardon from the Saudi monarch himself.
When interrogated, she said she drove her car because she had no means of public or private transportation and needed to get to the hospital. Over the past 48 hours, Saudi tweeps confirmed that Jastaniya received the court's lashing order and has 30 days to appeal. Unlike other women who drove in Saudi Arabia, such as Manal Al-Sharif and Najlaa Hariri, Jastaniya did not video-tape herself when driving to post it online.
What came as a bigger surprise to Saudis was actually the leaked document that the court sent to Al-Watan newspaper summoning two female journalists to court for writing the news article on the lashing sentence Jastaniya received two months ago. The two female journalists are Nissrin Najm Al-Din and Samya Al-Essa and here is a link to the story they wrote about the lashing, where they refer to the first two letters of Jastaniya's name.
On Twitter, Saudi Fahad (@Solidus_Fahad) was enraged by the news. He tweeted:
@Solidus_Fahad: If a woman can be whipped just for driving could you imagine what would happen to her for speaking her mind out loud?!
@Solidus_Fahad: Saudi woman with great progressive beliefs will be whipped in public in the name of religion and male supremacy! Because of driving!
From Jeddah, Noha Aldhahri (@MsNohaAldhahri) tweeted the news on the two female journalists called to court. She wrote:
@MsNohaAldhahri: #Saudi Ministry of Information suing two #reporters for covering #Shaima #lashing case.
From Riyadh, (@Anwaar33) criticized what she described as the corrupt system in Saudi Arabia [ar]:
A Saudi-American tweep nicknamed (@Ana3rabeya) referred to Princess Amira Al-Taweel, the wife of Prince Waleed Bin Talal, who tweeted two months ago saying that Shaima got her sentence dropped:
@Ana3rabeya: Fictional TruthSeeker: “Was there, or was there Not, Royal Pardon issued 4 #Shaima Lashing Sentence?”, Ameerah Al-Taweel: *Crickets*.
Blogger Majed Al-Enizi (@QMajed) criticized the laws in Saudi Arabia [ar]:
Hala Khalaf (@tbaish) too wanted to see a change. She wrote [ar]:
Farah Al Ibrahim (@farah_alibrahim), a female Twitter user based in Dubai, UAE, wrote [ar]:
Several Twitter users, mostly writing under pseudonyms, have cheered for this decision saying whoever crosses the law should be punished. Others used the opportunity to bash “liberals” and those seeking reforms in the Kingdom. This Twitter user used the discrimination card against women activists [ar]:
Abdullatif Mohammad (@AboLa6eef) was complaining of tweets in favour of Jastaniya, saying she deserved her punishment [ar]: