In appalling but entirely unsurprising news, a Saudi court has upheld the sentencing of Raif Badawi to 10 years in prison and a nearly $300,000 fine for “creating a website insulting Islam” and criticizing the Saudi religious police. His attorneys — new ones, not the one that was also put in jail for the same things — seem surprised.
A Saudi court on Monday upheld a 10-year jail sentence and 1,000 lashes against Raef Badawi, founder of a liberal human rights group, for insulting Islam, an activist said…
The court had also ordered him to pay a fine of one million riyals ($266,666)…
“We were very surprised” by the appeals court ruling, Al Shamari said.
“The only hope now is an amnesty from the king or a swift move by the justice minister to form a fair judicial committee,” she added.Before his arrest, Badawi’s network announced a “day of liberalism” and called for an end to the influence of religion on public life in Saudi Arabia.
The lawsuit against him was filed by clerics.
Of course it was. They’re totalitarians who want to control the thoughts and lives of others. But I can’t imagine why this should be surprising. Saudi Arabia does this sort of thing every day. The law gives them that authority and they use it. Also worth noting that Saudi Arabia is a member of the UN Human Rights Council. That’s the joke, but it isn’t funny.