Jail and lashes for Saudi activist

Jail and lashes for Saudi activist

A SEVEN-YEAR jail sentence has reportedly been imposed Rael Badawi, 35, founder of the Saudi Liberal Network website.

Badawi was arrested last year after the network declared May 7 a “day of liberalism” in the Muslim kingdom, and demanded an end to the influence of religion on public life in Saudi Arabia.

A conference which was to be held in Jeddah for the occasion was off after the organisers said they had been “advised” by authorities not to go ahead.

Badawi was brought to court last December to face a charge of apostasy, but the case was referred to a higher court which, according to this report, found him guilty of lesser charges of criticising the religious police, as well as calling for “religious liberalisation”.

He was sentenced to seven years and 600 lashes, and his website was ordered to be closed down.

Had he been convicted of apostasy, he might have received the death sentence, as sharia law – strictly applied in Saudi Arabia – stipulates death as a punishment for this “crime”. However defendants are usually given the chance to repent and escape being beheaded.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

28 responses to “Jail and lashes for Saudi activist”

  1. richard free thinker says:

    surely this is a death sentence? 600 lashes? Then into a jail with crap care and inmates who will want to kill him if he survives the 600 lashes? Decent people of the world should boycott Saudi Arabia and similar places. I don’t want their oil or their f@@ked religion.

  2. barriejohn says:

    There is also a link to the following article from June, where another activist received similar treatment for daring to ask for elections in Saudi Arabia. Britain may be just a pawn on the world stage nowadays, but how come the Americans, so keen on promoting freedom and democracy throughout the world – at the point of a gun if necessary – kowtow to the Saudi royal family (to say nothing of the terrorism that Saudi Arabia exports)?

  3. Ian says:

    7 Years in a Saudi prison for speaking against Islam? Not the sort of experience he is likely to survive with or without the 600 lashes, which are certainly a death sentence in their own right.

    Mind you if you listen to what these learned barmpots state about keeping wives under control you are allowed to administer corporal punishment gently, with something like a toothbrush!

    To make sure that the beating isn’t ‘too vigorous’ those applying the lashes are supposed to keep a copy of the Koran under their arm.

    Just sayin’.

  4. L.Long says:

    Hey Barrie…but how come the Americans, so keen on promoting freedom and democracy throughout the world….
    as an american I would like to know where this occurred?
    In every instance where we went in to ‘promote freedom and democracy’ it was for totally different reasons and the “promoting freedom and democracy” was just political BS for the Sheeple in USA.
    Yes the middle east is made up of independent countries and we have no right to tell them how to operate. BUT…(love that word)
    we can all say we don’t like what you are doing and how and so we don’t need (what ever they export) and we don’t need to export food to you. We don’t have to recognize your government & allow a presence in our country. But that will NEVER EVER happen because we want their oil, having bases over there, and our political power also likes their political power. The only real difference between xtians and islameist is the xtians have had their balls cut off. Although in the USA they are trying real hard to get a pair, in small ways.

  5. barriejohn says:

    “Promoting freedom and democracy around the world…”

    That was irony, L. Long. Even Margaret Thatcher had to bite her tongue over Grenada!

  6. David Anderson says:

    Americans, freedom and democracy? I think some Americans, including Obama, might have trouble understanding what those words mean.

  7. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    7 years, just for criticising religion. Thankfully I don’t live in such a backward place but it concerns me that there are those who want religion to have a greater say in the running of our lives. I wish him the best and wish that there were something constructive that I could do.

  8. Bruce Talor says:

    The sentence is extreme & barbaric, just like the religion that caused it.

  9. Ayman says:

    Hey every body , thank you for your support ,
    I am saudi and I may not be able to talks freely right now ( exept if i want 600 lashes over my back ) but i’ll tell you this anyway : you guys shuld be thankful that you borne out side SA . Because if you didn’t you can kiss your freedom goodbye .
    Over here no body is muslim by his choice. you just born with it like birthmark .
    * In my opinion I think you have the right to chose and believe in what ever you like because it’s something spiritual you can’t force it. actually it’s not my opinion its something fundamental. But you get the idea. This is just an example of what this guy did.

  10. T says:

    Saudi Arabiai is at the root of a very large proportion of politicised fundamentalist islam terrorism. It’s a blight on the world and a major threat to world peace. Just wait until the oil runs out and their strangle hold is broken. What then will they do?

  11. barriejohn says:

    Ayman: Well said. I really hope that things improve there in your lifetime.


  12. Canada Dave says:

    Hope the oil runs out soon…. then they will return to wandering the desert and making love to sheep.

  13. Matt+Westwood says:

    @Canada Dave: What an outrageous, inaccurate and insensitive slur. In Saudi it’s goats. Oh, and camels of course.

  14. Thoreau says:

    Looks like the penny is dropping though. Wonder if anyone is regretting squandering so much money on Mayfair hookers when it could have gone to building a sustainable economy?

    I think they still have the time, money and resources to pull it off – just not the critical mass of thinking people it also requires.

  15. 1859 says:

    This sentence just demonstrates how close facism amd religion really are – especially in SA. Criticism is brutally crushed, no democratic system of justice, debate or concenus – but simply a crude and cruel expression of might is right. How frightened the male, religious cadres must be of freely expressed opinion if they can behave like this towards this young man. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves! Raef, if you ever get to read these blog pages, remember we are with you – you are not alone.

  16. Michael Glass says:

    Another “own goal” courtesy of the Saudi Government. Every time this government commits such wrongs it demeans itself in the eyes of the world.

  17. Robster says:

    Is this the only way for the Saudi muzzies to get new takers for their horrible religion at gunpoint or with threats of severe violence? Not really a glowing endorsement.

  18. OurSally says:

    Sheep … goats … camels … you know if they – um – have relations with a furry four-footed friend they’re then not allowed to eat it? But they can sell it to their neighbour for them to eat? There must be logic behind that somewhere.

  19. anon says:

    “free thinker”… So edgy

  20. tony e says:

    Whenever I hear the CLC bleat about ‘persecution’ I’d love to sent them somewhere like Saudi so they can see, first hand, what real and genuine, and not the pathetic wet version they embrace, persecution is.

  21. DeeM says:

    This is horrendous!!!! How can this happen in the year 2013? These people are still nothing but backwards, barbaric. desert sheepherders living in a world of pure imagination. Dog forbid we should live in a world where religion no longer exists – can you imagine the peace, love, tolerance and acceptance that would abound? Not to mention the scientific breakthroughs we’d be making. I don’t know how this poor young man is going to survive 600 lashes. I’d be crying like a baby after one. 600 !!! Do you know how many that is – this HAS to be stopped for the primitive form of punishment (suppression) that it is!

  22. Broga says:

    @Thoreau: Interesting. Once the world dependence on Saudi oil begins to subside the Saudi fat cats will have a reality check. For a start they will discover that the sycophancy of the USA, UK,and others is not, after all, based on admiration of the Saudi fat cats. It is based entirely on Saudi Arabia as a source of oil.

  23. Canada Dave says:

    Sorry Matt…I’ll do more research next time…well at least they all have a cloven hoof.

  24. Thoreau says:

    I’m sure there are plenty in Saudi Arabia who know fine well that the sycophacy is contrived, after all may of the rich and powerful spend much of their time in the West and send their kids here for education. There are probably some who are a bit more concrete about things and who are in for a shock.

    One thing is for sure though, when the money tap is closed those with money will up sticks and leave for good because everyone around will want a bite of their wodge.

    Meaning what? Probably a power vacuum to be filled by whoever is the most able to whip up a violent mob. I have a hunch bronze age religious thinking will be the most popular angle.

    The Saudis are completely fucked but they don’t see it yet. Inane plans like getting into solar energy are not going far. Look how many places within the tropics have near endless sun – but also a ready market on their doorstep for cheap energy. Who will the Saudis sell their solar electricity to? They’re surrounded by basketcase countries engaged in tearing up their own meagre infrastructure, not to mention the practical aspects of operating in such a harsh climate.

    China will be generating solar energy on an absolutely phenomenal scale and this will just be a sideline for them to keep their domestic market ticking along.

  25. barriejohn says:

    You may be forced to marry the animal:

    Gay marriage is, of course, haram!

  26. barriejohn says:

    I just love this explanation (and the interesting use of the word “science”):

    As Fiqh is a science which covers all areas of life (and a whole load of possibilities) you will come across some Fiqh literature explaining what a person must do in order to purify himself after sex with an animal.

    It is obvious to the reader that the Fiqh literature is not approving the act of bestiality but just giving rulings on purification after certain events…

    However, (Ayatollah Khomeini) did not approve of sex with animals. He was simply giving his opinion related to purification with regards to the crime of bestiality and has become the victim of the spin we have already discussed. (My emphasis)

  27. […] Read Activist who called for an end to religious influence in Saudi is sentenced to jail and lashes […]