title image for Raif Badawi

Case: Raif Badawi

Raif Badawi, 30, is one of the founders of the website Liberal Saudi Network, which was dedicated to fostering open discussion on social issues and religion but has been shut down. He is currently imprisoned for insulting Islam.

In 2008, Badawi was detained and questioned on charges of apostasy, but was eventually released. However, on June 17, 2012, Badawi was arrested and formally charged with insulting Islam and apostasy – the latter of which could result in punishment as severe as the death penalty. Badawi was arrested for hosting a website which features content critical of religion, and declaring May 7 as a “day for Saudi liberals.”

While the apostasy charge would later be dropped, on July 29, 2013, a criminal court sentenced Badawi to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for his other offenses. Recently the Court of Appeals struck down that ruling, and is now deciding whether to hear Badawi's case itself, or else send it back down to the criminal court for a new trial. Badawi remains in prison during this process.