UPDATE: 22 January
Raif Badawi’s scheduled public flogging on Friday 23 January is unlikely to be carried out following examinations by a medical committee, which found him unfit. He is a prisoner of conscience who received 50 lashes earlier this month. He continues to be at risk of receiving the remaining 950 lashes.
On Wednesday 21 January Raif Badawi was taken to the King Fahd Medical Hospital in Jeddah and was thoroughly examined by a medical committee of around eight doctors. After hours of examinations, the committee concluded that he has high blood pressure and recommended to the authorities that he not be flogged. However, Raif Badawi remains at risk of further flogging, as long as the sentence stands. This risk is further enhanced because the medical committee’s recommendation is not legally binding on the authorities.
Mass protests have recently been organized by activists at Saudi Arabian embassies worldwide condemning the flogging of Raif Badawi and calling for his release. There have also been official appeals, including the governments of the USA and Canada. Raif Badawi’s wife and children currently live in Canada. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called the flogging “at the very least, a form of cruel and inhuman punishment … prohibited under international human rights law, in particular the Convention against Torture, which Saudi Arabia has ratified”.
On 9 January Raif Badawi received 50 lashes in public, in front of al-Jafali Mosque in Jeddah. The second set of 50 were expected to take place the following Friday, however a doctor examined him and concluded that his wounds had not sufficiently healed and he could not withstand another round of lashes. Raif Badawi was sentenced by the Criminal Court in Jeddah on 7 May 2014 to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, followed by a 10-year travel ban, a ban on using media outlets, and a fine of one million Saudi Arabian riyals (about US$266,600). The conviction and sentence stemmed from Raif Badawi’s creation of the Saudi Arabian Liberals website (which the court ordered to be closed) and the accusation that he had “insulted Islam”. The Court of Appeal in Jeddah upheld the sentence on 1 September. The case is thought to have been referred to the Supreme Court in December.
See the urgent action below
We make no apology for returning #SaudiArabia, firstly to highlight a dreadful beheading described in the Daily Mail and secondly, to provide a link to an Amnesty Urgent Action concerning Raif Badawi.
‘A woman beheaded in a Saudi street for killing her husband’s six-year-old daughter screams her innocence in graphic footage of the execution uploaded to the Internet.
‘An executioner in Mecca, the holy city, took two swings to hack off Layla bint Abdul Mutaleb Bassim’s head, after she was found guilty of beating the girl and raping her with a broomstick.
‘The incident has sparked outrage in the country, but not because of the brutal punishment meted out. Rather Saudis are up in arms that the execution was filmed and posted online, where the woman’s family might see it.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2916583/Step-mother-screams-innocence-beheaded-murdering-sexually-abusing-six-year-old-daughter-leaked-footage-outraged-Saudi-Arabia.html#ixzz3POSetg55
This concerns Raif Badawi who was due to receive his second bout of 50 lashes but is not medically fit enough to receive them. Altogether he is sentenced to 1 000 lashes and has received the first 50. Full details of this are in the attached file. Please find time to write. Continued world wide protest at the actions of this brutal regime do seem to be having an effect.