A blogger in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced with prison and 1,000 lashes! Raif Badawi, was convicted of publishing a blog, which he envisaged as a forum for political and social debate. He had been scheduled to receive 50 lashes each week for 20 weeks—outside a mosque in his home city of Jeddah—as part of his 1,000-lash, Sharia-law sentence, which also includes a 10-year jail term.
However, a Saudi prison doctor determined he had not yet healed adequately to endure this additional punishment, owing to the injuries sustained the prior Friday. He is scheduled to be flogged every Friday, after the weekly Muslim prayer-time, for the next 19 weeks! Badawi’s sentence stems from his creation of the website Free Saudi Liberals. Apparently, political and social debate is not allowed under Islam’s Sharia law, in Saudi Arabia.
What have western governments done to publicly protest this outrageous punishment and abuse of free speech? Apparently, next to nothing.
Our president and State Department should press the Saudi’s to reform their abysmal practices against human rights. Our government’s silence seriously weakens our credibility, in the eyes of freedom-minded people around the world.