LiveWire has an eyewitness account of the flogging in Saudi Arabia of Raif Badawi, a 30-year-old with three children who was arrested for apostasy, insulting Islam, and his real crime—running a discussion website called “Free Saudi Liberals.” While the apostasy charges (which could bring a death sentence) remain in limbo, Badawi was convicted on other charges and fined $267,000, sentenced to 10 years in prison, and ordered to be given 1000 lashes. That’s a harsh punishment, but, as the Guardian reports, “Rights activists say Saudi authorities are using Badawi’s case as a warning to others who think to criticise the kingdom’s powerful religious establishment from which the ruling family partly derives its authority.”
His wife divorced him and his family moved to Canada.
Yesterday Badawi received the first 50 of his lashes. An anonymous witness gave a report:
“When the worshippers saw the police van outside the mosque, they knew someone would…
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