Tag Archives: Raif Badawi

10 Years Jail, 2,000 Lashes for Saudi Man Who Said He Is an Atheist

Al-Masdar News reports:

A Saudi court has sentenced a 28-year old man to ten years prison, 2,000 lashes and a fine around $5000 for tweeting that he was an atheist.

The man had refused to repent and expressed his beliefs that he had a right to express them.

A law that defines atheism as “terrorism” is what he was charged under.

Article one of the law defined terrorism as “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based”.

You can read the article here.

Saudis Release Human Rights Activist Samar Badawi

Last week, the Center for Inquiry was amongst the first organizations to learn and report that Saudi human rights activist Samar Badawi had been arrested for allegedly operating the Twitter account of her husband, jailed human rights attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair. Ms. Badawi is also the sister of jailed dissident Raif Badawi, and Mr. al-Khair was Mr. Badawi’s lawyer before he himself was jailed.

Immediately upon learning of the development, CFI issued a statement calling for Badawi’s unconditional release:

“I have worked personally with Samar, and she is one of the most impressive, courageous, and devoted activists I have ever met,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s main representative to the United Nations, who met Ms. Badawi at the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014 when CFI spoke out behalf of her husband. “She is a shining example of the kind of meaningful impact an individual can have, despite incredible odds and unthinkable oppression. Her detention now speaks to how desperate and inhuman Saudi Arabia has become to intimidate, silence, and punish critics.”

“When Secretary Clinton presented Samar with the Women of Courage award, she told her, ‘You are making a difference, and we thank you for that,” noted De Dora. “The State Department can best thank her, right now, by doing all they can to secure her freedom and safety, and Secretary Clinton and First Lady Obama should use their platforms as globally admired figures to rally the world to this cause.”

Fortunately, she was released after about one day. CNN reports:

Samar Badawi, a notable human rights activist in Saudi Arabia, was released Wednesday after being detained by law enforcement the day before.

Gen. Mansour al-Turki, the Interior Ministry spokesman, said that Badawi was not arrested, contrary to the claims of multiple human rights activists. Rather, “she was subject to a questioning session by the district police upon the request of the bureau of investigation and public prosecution,” according to al-Turki.

Ali Adubisi, director of the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, said Badawi returned home.

“According to what I know up to this moment, there are no subsequent steps relating to an investigation or a trial,” he said.

Badawi’s case appeared to be connected to her role in lobbying for the release of her brother, Raif, and her former spouse, Waleed Abu al-Khair. Their imprisonments have drawn the ire of human rights and free speech advocates.

 We will continue to track this case and provide updates when possible.

6 Ways You Can Help Raif Badawi and Other Activists in Saudi Arabia

A year after the international outcry over his public flogging, Raif Badawi, as well as dozens of other human rights activists including Waleed Abu al-Khair, remain imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

In an effort to multiply voices calling for the release of Badawi and other activists, and for respect for basic human rights in Saudi Arabia, our friends over at Amnesty International have put together a short list of six ways you can get involved in demanding action.

Keep reading here.

Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi’s Sentence Suspended: Swiss Official

As reported by the CBC in Canada:

A Swiss newspaper is reporting that imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi could have his sentence of 1,000 lashes suspended, but Amnesty International has yet to confirm the news.

The Swiss Secretary of Foreign Affairs Yves Rossier told the Fribourg daily newspaper La Liberté that Badawi’s sentence was suspended.

“A royal pardon is in the works thanks to the head of state, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” he said.

You can read the full story here. We will keep you updated if we hear anything.

Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi to Be Flogged Again, Wife Says

Via the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom, and as reported on CNN, we learn of some disturbing breaking news concerning one of the cases featured on the Campaign for Free Expression website:

A Saudi blogger convicted of “insulting Islam” is expected to receive the second 50 lashes of a 1,000-lash sentence soon, his wife says. …

The lashings are to be carried out 50 lashes at a time, 20 weeks in a row. Badawi received the first flogging in January 2015, but since then, the punishment has been pushed back several times. …

In a statement published on the Raif Badawi Foundation website Tuesday, [Badawi’s wife Ensaf] Haidar said that an “informed source” told her that Saudi authorities had approved resuming the floggings.

“The informed source also said that the flogging will resume soon but will be administered inside the prison,” Haidar said. The sentence originally called for the floggings to be carried out in public.

“It is worth mentioning that the same source had warned me of Raif’s pending flogging at the beginning of January 2015 and his warning was confirmed, as Raif was flogged on 9th January,” she said.

We will continue to track this situation and keep you informed if we learn of anything.

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

From the New York Times:

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 poetJames 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.

You can read the entire article here.