In praise of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

As we bloggers of the western world play around with our words and fine the tune our themes, in other parts of the world blogging is a serious business. Putting your thoughts down in a blog can get you sentenced to ten years in jail and a thousand lashes.
Raif Badawi is a Saudi Arabian blogger. The Guardian takes a look at the sort of writing that gets you sentenced to one thousand lashes. Writings like this;

No religion at all has any connection to mankind’s civic progress. This is not a failing on the part of religion but rather that all religions represent a particular, precise spiritual relationship between the individual and the Creator. ..However, positive law is an unavoidable human and social need because traffic regulations, employment law and the codes governing the administration of State can hardly be derived from religion.

Read the full article here

He was due to have the second series of fifty lashes today – after Friday prayers – but it was postponed on medical grounds.
Amnesty International reports;

Raif Badawi was removed from his jail cell this morning and taken to the prison clinic for a medical check-up before his sentence was due to be carried out. The doctor concluded that the wounds had not yet healed properly and that he would not be able to withstand another round of lashes at this time. He recommended that the flogging should be postponed until next week. It is unclear whether the authorities will fully comply with this demand.

“Not only does this postponement on health grounds expose the utter brutality of this punishment, it underlines its outrageous inhumanity. The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous. Flogging should not be carried out under any circumstances,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Amnesty International is trying to have his sentence overturned. Read about it on their website and what you can do to help.


One thought on “In praise of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.”

  1. John, thank you for reminding the blogosphere that the freedom to blog about whatever we might desire is not something everyone in the world can take for granted.

    this should be compulsory reading for all bloggers – this man has been incredibly brave.

    thank you for drawing attention to it.



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