Tomorrow, Saudi Arabia plans to publicly flog Prisoner of Conscience Raif Badawi. His crime? Freely expressing his ideas online.
Last month, we told you about Raif, who started Saudi Arabian Liberals, a blog where readers could openly discuss religion, politics and other topics in Saudi Arabia. In retaliation for this peaceful act, Raif is serving 10 years and was sentenced to 1,000 lashes.
According to information obtained by Amnesty International, Raif will be subjected to approximately 50 lashes tomorrow, while the rest of the full sentence of 1,000 lashes will be meted out over a period of 20 weeks. Tell the Saudi government that this is abhorrent and unacceptable.
Twenty weeks of agony. Ten years of imprisonment. This is the painful price of criticizing religious authorities in Saudi Arabia. I am sure you are as outraged as I am - join me in demanding an end to this brutal injustice.
Demand Saudi Arabia immediately release Raif Badawi and halt this abhorrent flogging.
Raif Badawi was initially charged with "apostasy," a crime that carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. He has been detained since June 17, 2012. His lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is also serving a 15-year sentence for his work in defense of human rights. Raif's wife and children escaped to Canada. We need to do all we can to reunite him with them.
Join me in urgently demanding that the Saudi government free Raif Badawi.
When Amnesty activists raise their voices to free Prisoners of Conscience, we are too powerful to ignore. We know that people power has an impact. But we need you.
Thank you for taking action with me,
Senior Campaigner, Individuals at Risk
Amnesty International USA
P.S. If you are in the United States and want to do more, please call the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. at (202) 342-3800, press 2 for English, then 0 for the operator. Ask embassy officials to act urgently to see that Raif Badawi is not flogged, and that he is immediately and unconditionally freed. You can also mention that flogging is a violation of international law.