***Update***: Badawi’s lashings were postponed today for “medical reasons.”
A doctor who examined him before the scheduled flogging determined that his wounds had not yet healed and that the flogging should be delayed, human rights group Amnesty International said.
“The doctor concluded that the wounds had not yet healed properly and that he would not be able to withstand another round of lashes at this time,” Amnesty International said in a statement.
Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haida, said from her home in Canada that she expects the floggings to resume next Friday.
Today, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi will receive the second batch of 50 lashes (out of a 1,000 total) for the “crime” of “insulting Islam.”
A few other updates:
The Guardian published excerpts this week from Badawi’s website — the passages that got him into all this trouble — and you can see that’s it all pretty innocuous stuff:
No religion at all has any connection to mankind’s civic progress. This is not a failing on the part of religion but rather that all religions represent a particular, precise spiritual relationship between the individual and the Creator… However, positive law is an unavoidable human and social need because traffic regulations, employment law and the codes governing the administration of State can hardly be derived from religion.
Earlier this week, reporters asked State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf why the U.S. isn’t doing more to stop the punishments than just issuing condemnations from afar. Harf responded by saying the U.S. isn’t in the “business of demanding things” from other countries:
That said, at least several countries are condemning the Saudi government’s actions:
Saudi punishment of #RaifBadawi has now been censured by US, UK, Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, EU, UN's OHCHR. Who's next?
— Michael De Dora (@mdedora) January 15, 2015
Keith Harper, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, added:
— Keith Harper (@USAmbHRC) January 15, 2015
I guess we’ll do this all again next week…