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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Campaign for Free Expression is an initiative of the Center for Inquiry (CFI) to focus the public's attention and efforts on one of the most basic and foundational human rights: the freedom to express yourself. We hope you join us.