Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests
Posted by doctore0 on January 15, 2015
Raif Badawi, the Saudi liberal convicted of publishing a blog, has been told he will again be flogged 50 times on Friday – the second part of his 1,000-lash sentence which also includes a 10-year jail term.
The US, Britain and other western governments had all called for the punishment to be dropped but there has been no sign of any diplomatic action against Riyadh. Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the UK government to challenge Saudi Arabia, which has ignored all protests over the case.
Badawi will be given 50 more lashes outside a mosque in his home city of Jeddah unless a Saudi prison doctor determines he is not yet fit to face the punishment owing to injuries sustained last Friday. If nothing changes, he will be flogged every Friday for the next 19 weeks.
Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, who is now in Canada, has said she fears he may not be able to physically withstand a second round. “Raif told me he is in a lot of pain after his flogging, his health is poor,” she told Amnesty. “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.”
The first floggings attracted huge attention and anger because they followed the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris and intense discussion of the freedom of expression and Muslim sensitivities about portraying the prophet Muhammad. Saudi Arabia publicly condemned the killings.