Prisoner of conscience jailed in Saudi Arabia for blogging
Any Friday now, Raif Badawi will be led out of his prison cell in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to a square where he will be flogged in public.
His hands tied, Raif will be whipped 50 times then taken back to his cell – until two weeks later, when the lashes start again – another 50.
Raif has committed no crime but is serving a 10-year prison sentence for encouraging political debate.
Raif is being punished for founding the website ‘Saudi Arabian Liberals’ – a blog and a forum for discussion.
He won’t be running another website when he is eventually freed if Saudi authorities have their way – he’s been banned from using online media indefinitely.
He is also prevented from leaving the country for a decade.
Awaiting 50 lashes every fortnight
Right now, Raif is in a cell in a Jeddah prison, six months into his ten-year jail sentence. He is awaiting the first of his floggings.
The thousand lashes are due to be dealt to him in batches of fifty, every other Friday, in a public square.