A father of three, Raif Badawi, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sentenced to 10 years in prison and will get 1,000 lashes over the next 20 weeks for anti-Islam posts on Facebook The Independent reports.
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes in front of al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah for “insulting Islam” on the internet. His sentence began on Friday. The sentence amounts to torture.
Supporters around the world have rallied to Badawi’s defense on Twitter and Facebook.
The online network Badawi co-founded with fellow activist Suad al-Shammari declared May 7, 2012 a “day of liberalism.” Their blog called the end of religious dominance over public life in Saudi Arabia.
The Register reported that the US State Department has issued a statement on Badawi’s sentence and asked the Saudi government to show mercy.
“We are greatly concerned by reports that human rights activist Raif Badawi will start facing the inhumane punishment of a 1,000 lashes, in addition to serving a 10-year sentence in prison for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and religion,” said spokesperson Jen Psaki.
The US State Department continued:
“The United States Government calls on Saudi authorities to cancel this brutal punishment and to review Badawi’s case and sentence. The United States strongly opposes laws, including apostasy laws, that restrict the exercise of these freedoms, and urges all countries to uphold these rights in practice.”
Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million Saudi Arabian riyals (about US$266,600) last year for creating an online forum for public debate and accusations that he insulted Islam.
According to information obtained by Amnesty International, Raif Badawi will receive up to 50 lashes starting Friday, while the rest of the full sentence of 1,000 lashes will be carried out over a period of 20 weeks.
“It is horrifying to think that such a vicious and cruel punishment should be imposed on someone who is guilty of nothing more than daring to create a public forum for discussion and peacefully exercising the right to freedom of expression.” Amnesty International said.
It remains to be seen if America’s TWAT partner will heed the message.
Social media supporters are using the hashtags #FreeRaif, #IStandWithRaif and #JeSuisRaif.
In the video below you can see all the “peaceful muslims” running to watch the public torture of someone that refused to bow down to Islam.
This is another video posted of the ‘flogging’, but it doesn’t show much. You can hear muslims cheer at the torture of innocent people.
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