Well, this is disturbing.
It appears that Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi will continue getting flogged. We last heard the Saudi Supreme Court had upheld his sentence over the summer, but there was still hope the lashes would stop since they hadn’t been administered since the very first set earlier this year.
In case you don’t remember, Badawi was punished in 2013 for starting a progressive website that called for, among other things, religious tolerance and women’s rights. That was insulting to Islam, his critics said, and he received the first 50 of his 1,000 lashes punishment back in January. That was in addition to 10 years in jail and a 1,000,000 Saudi riyal fine (about $266,000).
Now, Ensaf Haidar (Badawi’s wife) says an inside source told her the floggings will resume:
I was informed by an informed source, that the Saudi authorities have given the green light to the resumption of Raif Badawi’s flogging. The informed source also said that the flogging will resume soon but will be administered inside the prison.
It is worth mentioning that the same source had warned me of Raif’s pending flogging at the beginning of January 2015 and his warning was confirmed, as Raif was flogged on 9th January.
While i do not understand this decision especially as Raif’s case is still being reviewed by the supreme court according to a senior source in the Saudi Ministry of Justice and according to the statement of UK Foreign Office minister, Tobias Ellwood, who told the House of Commons in July that my husband’s case was still being examined by Saudi judges.
I call on his Majesty King Salman to gracefully end my husband’s ordeal and to pardon him. I also appeal to his Majesty to allow him to be deported to Canada to be reunited with his family and children, who have been deprived of their father for more than four years.
I take this opportunity to remind Mr. Justin Trudeau, the new Canadian Prime Minister, of his promise to support Raif badawi and ensure his release. I plead with him to give Raif a White Passport to enable him to be reunited with his family in Canada.
My understanding, like I said, was that the Saudi Supreme Court had already made its decision, but given the whole joke of justice there, maybe there was a way around that. In any case, it’s terrible news. If Trudeau has the power to do anything about Badawi’s situation, I hope he considers every option.
(Portions of this article were published earlier)