Don’t let Raef Badawi be lashed
Your Majesty, don’t let Raef Badawi be lashed 1,000 times!
Your Majesty, we urge you to pardon Raef Badawi, a 30-year-old
citizen-journalist, website creator and winner of the 2014 Reporters
Without Borders Prize, who was unjustly and barbarically sentenced in
September to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.
This medieval form of torture began before a crowd of believers outside Jeddah’s Al-Jaffali mosque after Friday prayers on 9 January 2015, when Badawi was given an initial 50 lashes because your country’s judicial authorities have decided to inflict this punishment in 20 weekly sessions so that he does not does not succumb to the flogging.
The founder of the now-banned Liberal Saudi Network website, Badawi has been detained for the past three years while his wife has fled with his three children to Canada. What is Badawi’s crime? To have publicly questioned the way Saudi society is evolving and its respect for fundamental freedoms, thereby prompting a debate about political, religious and social issues.
Your Majesty, do you not agree that this torture is universally horrendous? It is a dreadful and unacceptable punishment, one you should prevent. Your country, Saudi Arabia, is ranked 164th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. It is time that you stopped persecuting journalists and Internet users.
Your Majesty, we request a pardon for Raef Badawi and your country’s respect for freedom of information, as envisaged in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights