State Dept. Ignores Pakistan in Religious Freedom Report

The State Department released its most recent International Religious Freedom Report, which includes a list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs). That list is Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan and Turkemnistan (the first addition to the list in years). The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom wonders why the hell Pakistan is not on that list.
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Badawi Lawyer Gets 15 Years in Prison

Waleed Abulkhair, the Saudi human rights activist who was Raif Badawi’s attorney in his blasphemy trial, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in that country for “inciting public opinion against the government” and “insulting the country’s leaders and judiciary.”
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Did Saudi Arabia Hurt Themselves?

You’ve probably seen stories about the Saudi Arabian delegation trying to quash the statement of a CFI representative about the Raif Badawi prosecution and brutal punishment for being an atheist. My friend Michael De Dora, CFI’s director of public policy, says they only hurt themselves with their behavior:
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Saudi Arabia Tries to Censor Criticism in UN Human Rights Council

Monday morning, a representative of the Center for Inquiry was speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Council on Human Rights and was criticizing Saudi Arabia for its barbaric treatment of those accused of “blasphemy,” especially Raif Badawi. The Saudi representative tried three times to prevent her from speaking.
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Badawi’s Attorney Now in Prison Too

We know how Saudi Arabia treats atheists and any other religious minority, but apparently you can be thrown in jail for defending them in court as well. Raif Badawi’s attorney, Saudi human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, has been arrested for “breaking allegiance to and disobeying the ruler.” He wrote about his impending arrest before it happened:
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UN Experts Strongly Criticize Saudi Arabia Over Badawi

A group of United Nations Special Rapporteurs has issued a statement strongly criticizing Saudi Arabia over the brutal sentence handed down against Raif Badawi for nothing more than expressing the fact that he’s an atheist and creating a platform to allow others to do so.
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