1000 Days

For the sixth week in a row, Saudi writer, blogger, and activist Raif Badawi was not publicly flogged today for insulting his home country’s state religion. Amnesty International broke the news as soon as the organization could confirm it:

No one is breathing a sigh of relief that this counts as sparing him, or that he is about to be freed. The 31-year-old husband and father has now spent 1000 days in jail with little to no contact with the outside world. According to news reports, there was no reason given by Saudi officials for the delay.
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An Update about Raif Badawi

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the plight of an activist and blogger named Raif Badawi, who was arrested and found guilty of insulting his country’s religion and sentenced to 20 straight weeks of public whipping, among other punishments. (“For Raif Badawi.”)

As I wrote nine days ago, the first set of fifty blows against him was delivered three Fridays ago, just before the weekly call to prayers in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia. Cellphone videos showed some of the whipping.

Word is out today that for the second week in a row, the authorities have decided to postpone Friday’s series of fifty lashes. His health may be at risk, according to an update on Amnesty International’s website (“Doctors find Raif Badawi unfit for flogging“), so this week’s flogging has been put off:
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