Saudi Arabia

Saudi Blogger Gets Seven Years, 600 Lashes for "Insulting" Islam


Our friends in Saudi Arabia have sentenced a blogger-activist to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for the terrible crime of "insulting" Islam.

Raif Badawi has been in jail since June, 2012 and ran afoul of authorities after starting a "Free Saudi Liberals" site in 2008. I've been unable to find examples of the material that culminated in his conviction (if you have them, please send them along and I'll post here).

From CNN:

"This incredibly harsh sentence for a peaceful blogger makes a mockery of Saudi Arabia's claims that it supports reform and religious dialogue," said Nadim Houry, the deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "A man who wanted to discuss religion has already been locked up for a year and now faces 600 lashes and seven years in prison."…

Rights groups accuse Saudi authorities of targeting activists through the courts and travel bans. Many were outraged when two of the country's most prominent reform advocates, Mohammed Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamid, were sentenced in March to 10 years in prison apiece.

Amnesty International called that trial "just one of a troubling string of court cases aimed at silencing the kingdom's human-rights activists."

More here.

Worth remembering: Reason's Everybody Draw Mohammed Day contest.

And "President Obama Says We 'must' condemn 'those who slander the prophet of Islam', Among Others."