Blogger Publicly Flogged in Saudi Arabia for ‘Insulting Islam’

According to Amnesty International, a blogger and rights activist in Saudi Arabia has been whipped 50 times by officials for “insulting Islam.” Raif Badawi is set to be publicly flogged 20 more times to complete his sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison imposed by a court last year. His wife told CNN that his arrest—which happened in 2008—came after her husband created an online discussion group to talk with others about religion. In a statement, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East said, “Raif Badawi is a prisoner of conscience; his only ‘crime’ was to exercise his right to freedom of expression by setting up a website for public discussion.” Officials from the U.S. and other human rights organizations have condemned the punishment and called for the activist’s release …

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