Saudi Arabia: imprisoned editor Raif Badawi to be flogged 1,000 times

English PEN joins PEN International in calling for the sentence of flogging handed down to editor Raif Badawi to be overturned immediately

According to PEN’s information, editor Raif Badawi, who was sentenced by a Saudi Arabian court to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, a fine, a 10-year travel ban and 10-year media participation ban for ‘insulting Islam’ and ‘founding a liberal website’, will begin being flogged in November 2014. English PEN believes that the sentence of 1,000 lashes violates the absolute prohibition in international law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and joins PEN International in calling for this sentence to be overturned immediately.

PEN also reiterates its calls for Badawi’s conviction to be quashed and for his immediate and unconditional release, as well as that of his lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison on 6 July 2014.

For more information on Raif Badawi’s case read this touching piece by his wife, Ensaf Haidar, and visit the PEN International website.

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Please send appeals:

  • Condemning the Jeddah Criminal Court’s sentencing of editor Raif Badawi’s to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals, a 10-year travel ban and 10-year media participation ban on charges of ‘insulting Islam’ and ‘founding a liberal website’ on 7 May 2014;
  • Calling for his sentence of flogging to be overturned immediately as it violates the absolute prohibition in international law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  • Urging the Saudi Arabian authorities to release Raif Badawi and his lawyer Walid Abu al-Khair immediately and unconditionally as they are being held solely for their peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression;
  • In the meantime, calling for both men to be granted all necessary medical treatment and access to their families and lawyers of their choice;
  • Calling on Saudi Arabia to ratify, without reservation, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Saudi Arabia in your country if possible, and send copies of any appeals you send and responses you receive to cat@englishpen.org

Appeals to be sent to:

King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
Office of His Majesty the King
Royal Court, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior) +966 1 403 3125
Salutation: Your Majesty

His Royal Highness Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
Ministry of the Interior
P.O.Box 2933, Airport Road
Riyadh 11134
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: +966 1 403 3125
Salutation: Your Excellency 

His Excellency Shaykh Dr Mohammed bin Abdulkareem Al-Issa
Ministry of Justice
University Street
Riyadh 11137
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: + 966 1 401 1741 + 966 11 402 0311
Salutation: Your Excellency 

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Saudi Arabia in your country

HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
30-32 Charles St
London
W1J 5DZ
Fax: 02079173113
Email: ukemb@mofa.gov.sa
Salutation: Your Excellency

Or you could use the form below.  A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to=ukemb@mofa.gov.sa’ subject=”Raif Badawi”]

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to express my concern for website editor Raif Badawi.

On 7 May 2014, Jeddah’s Criminal Court sentenced Raif Badawi to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of one million Saudi riyals on charges of ‘insulting Islam’ and ‘founding a liberal website’. When Badawi appeared in court to collect a written account of the verdict on 28 May he discovered the insertion of two additional penalties: a 10-year travel ban and 10-year ban from participating in visual, electronic and written media, both to be applied following his release.

According to PEN’s information, Raif Badawi is due to begin being flogged in November 2014. I share PEN’s belief that the sentence of 1,000 lashes violates the absolute prohibition in international law against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and join the organisation in calling for this sentence be overturned immediately.

Of further concern is the fact that Raif Badawi’s lawyer, Walid Abu al-Khair, who has written many articles, has also been arrested in a separate case.

I join PEN in calling for Badawi’s conviction to be quashed and for the immediate and unconditional release of both men, who I believe are being held solely for their peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, in violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the meantime, I urge the authorities to ensure that both men are granted all necessary medical treatment and access to their families and lawyers of their choice.

I also respectfully urge Saudi Arabia to ratify, without reservation, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

[/ecampaign]

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2 Comments on “Saudi Arabia: imprisoned editor Raif Badawi to be flogged 1,000 times”

  1. Thanks for organising the protest today. I set up a Facebook page linked to in this message – 700 likes and an organising groupof 25 or os.
    I had been trying to contact Amnesty in the UK but only managed to get through to them an hour ago to find about today’s protest. I had been talking with Amnesty activists who organised the protest in Berlin.
    Not enough time to contact the people attached to our page but I know we will be able to turn out lots if this is repeated.
    This include Iranian human rights campaigners, various trade union executive and senior activists.
    Hope to hear from you soon and again thanks for what you organised today

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