Link to Amnesty International information and petition
A decade in prison for supporting free speech
Raif’s sentence stems from his creation of the website ‘Saudi Arabian Liberials’, which he envisaged as a forum for political and social debate. He was subsequently charged for content he had posted to the site, including an article published on Valentine’s Day 2012 in which he was accused of ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s religious police, the Commission on the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – as well as failing to remove ‘offensive’ posts by other contributors.
Raif was arrested in June 2012. In May 2014 he was found guilty of breaking Saudi Arabia’s strict technology laws and insulting Islamic religious figures by creating and managing an online forum.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, a fine of 1 million Saudi Riyal (over a quarter of a million US dollars), and prevented from using any kind of media or travelling until 2034.
More from Amnesty International: 5 ways you can help Raif Badawi
Link to Freedom from Torture article on the medical implications of flogging
Link to a comment article in The Independent16th June 2015
Three years ago today, Saudi Arabian police arrested Raif Badawi for the crime of running a website “that propagates liberal thought”. His blog had put the case for secularism in observations such as this: “States which are based on religion confine their people in the circle of faith and fear.”