Raif Badawi is an activist and blogger who was convicted in May 2014 for insulting Islam and founding a liberal website. He received a fine of 1 million riyals (£175,000) and a ten-year prison sentence. In addition, the court in Jeddah sentenced Badawi to 1,000 lashes.
On 9 January 2015, after morning prayers, Badawi was flogged 50 times. This punishment was due to continue every Friday until he has received a total of 1,000 lashes. However, subsequent floggings have not gone ahead, initially because Badawi was deemed not to have recovered sufficiently from the previous punishment. No explanation has been given for the postponement of further floggings.
English PEN is holding weekly vigils outside the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to protest the Raif Badaw’s sentence. We meet at 9:00 AM every Friday on the Curzon Street side of the Embassy.
At last week’s vigil we made a short video to highlight the case. Please watch and share on social media.