Many of you have followed the sad case of Raif Badawi:
Last year, 30-year-old Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was punished for starting a progressive website that called for, among other things, religious tolerance and women’s rights. That was insulting to Islam, said his critics. He was sentenced at the time to seven years in prison and 600 lashes.
His sentence was overturned… but that respite was brief. In May, Badawi was given an even harsher punishment:
… the Criminal Court has sentenced Badawi to ten years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a one million riyal fine (USD $266,631).
His lawyers appealed the ruling, but we learned this week that the decision was upheld. Great justice system they have in Saudi Arabia…
And it continues to get worse. Raif’s lawyer, Waleed Abu Al-Khair, has also been imprisoned. Raif’s sister, Samar Badawi is a human rights activist who ,in September, was in Geneva informing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva about the plethora of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and calling for the release of her brother and Abu Al-Khair. Now Saudi Arabia has figured out how to put a stop to that nonsense:
On 2 December 2014, Badawi was informed by staff in the Passport Office at King Abdulaziz International Airport that she is not allowed to travel abroad anymore by an order from the Ministry of Interior, without any reason given or any prior investigations.
This is what a theocracy looks like.