30-year-old Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian writer and activist, was sentenced last year to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. Badawi’s crimes? Founding a website, Liberal Saudi Network, dedicated to fostering open discussion of religion and politics; and calling on his country to respect freedom of religion, belief, and expression, and women’s rights.
According to the Saudi court, Badawi was guilty of ridiculing Islam. In the midst of his appeals process, Badawi could soon be charged with apostasy. The penalty for apostasy in Saudi Arabia is death.
To make matters worse, a Saudi court recently jailed Badawi’s lawyer, Waleed Sami Abu Al-Khair, for his human rights activism.
There are global protests May 3. [Read more…]