Thursday, January 15, 2015
Saudi Arabia is preparing to deliver another 50 lashes to a man who has been imprisoned for creating a blog that is critical of Islam
Raif Badawi got his first 50 lashes recently, and he will continue to get 50 each Friday until he reaches a grand total of 1,000 — unless Saudi Arabia backs down amid a growing international outcry. The flogging is in addition to his 10-year prison sentence and a fine equivalent to about $250,000. All that for creating a now-defunct blog called Free Saudi Liberals to debate political and social issues. “Raif told me he is in a lot of pain after his flogging — his health is poor and I’m certain he will not be able to cope with another round of lashes,” his wife tells Amnesty International. The human rights group is trying raise pressure on the Saudi government, which recently was on the other side of the free-speech debate when it condemned the murder of the Charlie Hebdo editors, also accused of insulting Islam. In fact, at a Paris rally, one woman borrowed the sentiment of "I am Charlie" and held a sign reading, "I am Raif Badawi."