Context: Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and fined more than $250,000 for the “crime” of insulting Islam. Raif founded a website called “Saudi Arabian Liberals” and advocated for a more tolerant Saudi Arabia which respected freedom of religion, belief, and expression, as well as women’s rights. Here is my letter to the Saudi embassy.
It is absolutely unacceptable that Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes — for the “crime” of insulting Islam. It is appalling that insulting Islam should be a crime at all. The fact that his punishment is so horrifically severe is purely barbaric. This sort of torture is not only a violation of international law — it is a violation of simple human decency. If Saudi Arabia wants to be respected as a modern state in the international community, it must put an end to this monstrosity at once.
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