ACTION ALERT: Free Raif Badawi: No Flogging for Blogging

February 6th, 2015 - by admin & Jasmine Heiss / Amnesty International – 2015-02-06 02:25:49

Free and Safeguard the
Liberal Saudi Raif Badawy,
NO 1000 LASHES!!

Atheer Al-Ani /

GERMANY (January 13, 2015) – Raef Badawi is a Saudi citizen who was one of the founders of the “Liberal Saudi Network,” a blog that angered Ultra-orthodox clerics of Saudi Arabia. He has been sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison.

ACTION: Sign the Letter to:

• Deutscher Bundestag
• David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party
• Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
• King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue
• Delegation of the European Union to Saudi Arabia
• Botschaft des Königreichs Saudi Arabien
• Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Washington, DC
• Secretary-General of the United Nations
• President of the United States of America Barack Obama
• Bundesaußenminister Frank Walter Steinmeier

Dear Sirs and Madams,

Raef Badawi, a Saudi who is one of the establishers of the “Liberal Saudi Network”, which angered Ultra-orthodox clerics of Saudi Arabia and has been sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison.

Originally, he was expected to be sentenced to death for apostasy, for instance, as published by AFP:
“A Saudi court on Monday referred a rights activist to a higher court for alleged apostasy, a charge that could lead to the death penalty in the ultra-conservative kingdom, activists said.

A judge at a lower court referred Raef Badawi to a higher court, declaring that he “could not give a verdict in a case of apostasy,” a rights activist told AFP. Apostasy means renunciation of a religious faith. Badawi, who was arrested a June in the Red Sea city of Jeddah for unknown reasons, is a co-founder of the Saudi Liberal Network with female rights activist Suad al-Shammari and others.”

The sentence was 600 lashes and 7 years in prison. It was then increased to 1000 lashes and 10 years. The appeal was refused and the sentence has been confirmed.

We demand that Saudi Arabia free and safeguard Raef Badawy and stop threatening people merely for expressing non-orthodox views on Islam or religion in general, because without freedom of speech, one can not counter the dangerous beliefs of extremist Islam that leads ultimately to terrorism and threatens the safety of all people around the world.

Free Raif Badawi:
Stop 50 More Lashes

Jasmine Heiss / Amnesty International

(February 6, 2015) — Blogger Raif Badawi will be lashed 50 times today. It’s an extreme and inhuman punishment that can be fatal. Help prevent the flogging and call for his immediate and unconditional release. Support Amnesty International’s efforts fighting for Raif and other Prisoners of Conscience.

(February 5, 2015) — He’s in a cell tonight — bracing for a flogging. Tomorrow, Raif Badawi — a blogger in Saudi Arabia — is scheduled to face another 50 lashes as part of a brutal sentence of 10 years and 1,000 lashes he received for publishing a website that encourages social and political debate.

Amnesty is waging an all-out campaign to release Raif and stop the floggings. Please support our efforts to fight for Prisoners of Conscience like Raif.

Our window of time to act is critical. More floggings could cause debilitating long-term physical and mental damage.

A doctor that Amnesty spoke with said the second set of lashes is likely to be worse than the first: Dr. Juliet Cohen, head of doctors for Freedom from Torture, reported on the physical and psychological damage that flogging will have on Raif.

In a report commissioned by Amnesty, she wrote, “The more blows are inflicted on top of one another, the more chance of open wounds being caused. This is important because they are likely to be more painful and at risk of infection.”

Raif is scheduled to be flogged another 950 times over the next 19 weeks. Please help stop it and see that he is released. Support Amnesty’s efforts.

With hope for justice,

Jasmine Heiss is the Senior Campaigner for Individuals at Risk at Amnesty International USA

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