DoctorE

Turtles all the way down

Raif Badawi, Imprisoned Saudi Blogger, Is Awarded Free-Speech Prize

Posted by doctore0 on October 7, 2015

Stupid Saudi barbarians…

A Saudi blogger who was sentenced to prison and publicly flogged on charges that he had insulted Islam was awarded a major free -speech prize on Tuesday in London.

The blogger, Raif Badawi, was named the international co-recipient of Britain’s PEN Pinter Prize. He was chosen from a shortlist by the poet James Fenton, who was the British recipient of the award in June. Mr. Badawi is serving a 10-year sentence after his conviction last year on charges including “violating Islamic values and propagating liberal thought,” according to English PEN, the writers group that bestows the prize. A Saudi court fined him one million riyals, about $267,000, and sentenced him to receive 1,000 lashes spread out over 20 floggings.

Video of Mr. Badawi receiving his first 50 lashes in January appeared on YouTube, prompting condemnation from Western governments and human rights groups, which have called for his release. Saudi officials have postponed further lashings.

Mr. Badawi’s case has renewed attention to the Saudi government’s harsh treatment of dissidents for acts that are considered essential rights in the West.

At a ceremony on Tuesday in London, Mr. Fenton said he was moved by the contrast between Mr. Badawi’s “liberal aims” and the “ferocity” of the punishment leveled against him.
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