Saudi Arabia: Raif Badawi flogged for ‘founding a liberal website’

English PEN joins PEN International in expressing outrage that the Saudi Arabian authorities have gone ahead with the flogging of Raif Badawi for ‘insulting Islam’ and for ‘founding a liberal website’

On 9 January, imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi received the first round of 50 lashes in a public flogging after Friday prayers. Badawi will receive 50 lashes each Friday following morning prayers until he has received 1,000 lashes.

PEN is 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. We also reiterate our calls for Badawi’s conviction to be quashed and for his immediate and unconditional release.

Read more on Raif’s case.

TAKE ACTION.

  • Contact the Saudi Arabian Embassy here in London – ukemb@mofa.gov.sa / @SaudiEmbassyUK. A sample letter is available below, but please do send a more personal note if you have time.
  • Show your support on social media using the hashtags #FreeRaif #IStandWithRaif
  • Read a letter from PEN International President to Saudi Arabian Ambassador Mr. Naif bin bandar Al-Sudairi over on their website.

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 outrage that the Saudi Arabian authorities have gone ahead with the flogging of Raif Badawi for ‘insulting Islam’ and for ‘founding a liberal website’.

According to PEN’s information, on 9 January 2015 imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi received the first round of 50 lashes in a public flogging after Friday prayers. Badawi will receive 50 lashes each Friday following morning prayers until he has received 1,000 lashes.

I join PEN in 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. I also join PEN in calling for Badawi’s conviction to be quashed and for him to be released unconditionally.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

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51 Comments on “Saudi Arabia: Raif Badawi flogged for ‘founding a liberal website’”

  1. It’s so sad that Saudi Arabia—a sovereign state—has decided to align itself in this way with the terrorists who this week committed murder in Paris. I had been pleased to hear that Saudi Arabia’s official press agency had condemned the attack in Paris. We must now assume that this was not true, and that Saudi Arabia in fact supports the violent suppression of comment and debate.

  2. UPDATE – 19/01/2015

    Thank you to everyone that joined us for last week’s vigil in support of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi.

    As you may have heard, the flogging did not go ahead for medical reasons, and his case has now been referred to the Supreme Court by the king’s office.

    We are in regular contact with Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, who remains gravely concerned for his well-being. She is extremely grateful for PEN’s ongoing support and has urged us to keep fighting.

    As such, we are planning to hold a second vigil this Friday, 23 January, from 9am and hope that many of you will be able to join us. In the meantime, we hope that you will all send an updated letter of appeal to the Saudi authorities – a sample letter is available below – and urge you to take part in the Stand Up for Raif Online Protest which is being launched at midnight this Tuesday, 20 January. More details here: http://standupforraif.tumblr.com/

    [Sample letter – send to: ukemb@mofa.gov.sa]

    Your Excellency

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

    According to PEN’s information, on 9 January 2015 imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi received the first round of 50 lashes in a public flogging after Friday prayers. Badawi is due to receive 50 lashes every Friday until he has received 1,000 lashes although the second flogging, scheduled for 16 January, did not go ahead for medical reasons.

    Whilst I welcome the news that the case has since been referred to the Supreme Court by the king’s office, I join PEN in calling for his sentence of flogging to be overturned immediately. I also join PEN in calling for Badawi’s conviction to be quashed and for him to be released unconditionally.

    I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

    Yours sincerely

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