|Please make Saudi Arabia stop flogging and free Raif Badawi!|
Imagine one day you write something on your blog. Someone reads it and claims your story insults him. And then you are sentenced to jail and to be flogged. That’s what happened to Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia. Raif - a Saudi liberal blogger - has been told he will again be flogged 50 times on every Friday for the next 19 weeks for a total of 1,000 lashes. His health is very poor, as his wife says, and he may not be able to survive such a cruel sentence. “Raif told me he is in a lot of pain after his flogging, his health is poor,” his wife told Amnesty International. “I told our children about the news last week so that they would not find out about it from friends at school. It is a huge shock for them. International pressure is crucial; I believe if we keep up the support it will eventually pay off.”
Badawi was arrested in 2012 on a charge of insulting Islam through electronic channels for several sentences in his writings. These are a few of the incriminated sentences:
"As soon as a thinker starts to reveal his ideas - he wrote - you will find hundreds of fatwas that accused him of being an infidel just because he had the courage to discuss some sacred topics. I’m really worried that Arab thinkers will migrate in search of fresh air and to escape the sword of the religious authorities."
And again: "Secularism respects everyone and does not offend anyone … Secularism … is the practical solution to lift countries (including ours) out of the third world and into the first world."
In 2013 he was sentenced for the first time to seven years in prison and 600 lashes, then resentenced in 2014 to ten year jail and 1,000 lashes.
Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests
Raif Badawi to be publicly flogged every week for months after ‘insulting Islam’