Islamic blogger gets first 50 of 1000 lashes

Some people think I’m some kind of hero.  And sure, in the face of some events it may occasionally appear that way.  But when you see what this blogger went through for his freedom of expression, and what he still has to go through, unfortunately, it hardly compares.


A Saudi blogger will be publicly flogged [today] as part of his 10-year jail term for ‘ridiculing Islamic religious figures’.

Raif Badawi, who co-founded the Free Saudi Liberals website, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and a decade in prison for insulting Islam on his online forum.

His corporal punishment will be carried out after … prayers, outside the Al-Juffali mosque in Jiddah, which has earned the grisly nickname ‘Chop Chop Square’ as the site of executions.

I do have to wonder what would have happened had a Labour/Green government got their hands on the Dirty Politics process.  Would I be in jail now for acting legally, albeit against their interests?   

The online activist was found guilty of cyber-crime in May last year and ordered by the Jiddah Criminal Court to pay a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals, or about [$350,000].

He was also charged with apostasy, which carries the death penalty in the Saudi Kingdom, but he was cleared of this crime in 2013.

Badawi called his family from prison and informed them of the flogging, according to the Associated Press.

Amnesty International said Badawi would receive 50 lashes on Friday and the rest of the sentence would be carried out over a period of 50 weeks.

Fifty lashes are brutal.   You need at least a week to heal sufficiently to cope with the next fifty.

All this sends a continuous and chilling message:   Freedom is not welcome to Islam.

Badawi was originally sentenced in 2013 to seven years in prison and 600 lashes, but after an appeal, the judge stiffened the punishment.

Following his arrest, his wife and children left the kingdom for Canada.

Badawi’s lawyer Waleed Abul-Khair was sentenced in July to 15 years imprisonment and barred from traveling for another 15 years after being found guilty by an anti-terrorism court of ‘undermining the regime and officials,’ ”inciting public opinion’ and ‘insulting the judiciary.’

Saudi Arabia’s legal code follows Sharia Muslim law.

Charming.   They locked his lawyer up for trying to do a good job.

This is Islam in all its glory.

The Religion of Peace.

Or else.

– Mail Online

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.