The cost of free speech in Saudi Arabia

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.

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1 Response to The cost of free speech in Saudi Arabia

  1. Pingback: My week ahead, 12 – 18 January 2015 | A Riverside View

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