Saudi Man Faces Death Penalty for Apostasy

In yet another example of religious barbarism crushing freedom of speech and thought, a man in Saudi Arabia is facing the death penalty for setting up a website for people to discuss their views on religion. Human Rights Watch has the story and is calling for the man’s release:

On December 17, 2012, the Jeddah District Court, which had been hearing the case against the editor, Raif Badawi, referred it to a higher court on a charge of apostasy, which carries the death penalty. The charges against him, based solely to Badawi’s involvement in setting up a website for peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures, violate his right to freedom of expression.

“Badawi’s life hangs in the balance because he set up a liberal website that provided a platform for an open and peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Saudi Arabia needs to stop treating peaceful debate as a capital offense.”

A member of Badawi’s family told Human Rights Watch that during the December 17 hearing, Judge Muhammad al-Marsoom prevented Badawi’s lawyer from representing his client in court and demanded that Badawi “repent to God.” The judge informed Badawi that he could face the death penalty if he did not repent and renounce his liberal beliefs, the family member said.

Another reason to love the First Amendment.

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  • Our all-powerful and merciful invisible man in the sky demands that you repent or that we be your executioners. Apparently he has other commitments that prevent him from doing it himself. He’s got a universe to run, you know.

  • John Hinkle

    Another reason to love the First Amendment.

    Yes but the First Amendment, distilled into nutspeak, says freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The Saudis are just exercising their freedom of religion. So it’s just like they have the First Amendment too!

  • They’re just exercising their freedom of religion to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with their religion.