One thousand lashes

It’s been reported – indirectly so far, which is to say, no English language news sources – that today Saudi Arabia changed Raif Badawi’s sentence to an even harsher one.

Amnesty International reports:

Amnesty International is calling on Saudi Arabia’s authorities to quash the outrageous sentencing today of Raif Badawi in connection with an online forum for public debate he set up and accusations that he insulted Islam.

Raif Badawi, co-founder of the “Saudi Arabian Liberals” website, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals (about US$266,631) by Jeddah’s Criminal Court.


Not to mention ten years – 120 months, 3,560+ days – in prison.

Corporal punishment, such as flogging, violates international law, which prohibits torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Raif Badawi was first jailed in 2012 for violating Saudi Arabia’s IT law and insulting religious authorities through his online writings and hosting those of others on the “Saudi Arabian Liberals” website. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes.

Last December, an appeals court overturned his conviction and sent the case to Jeddah’s Criminal Court to be reviewed. He had initially been charged with “apostasy”, which is considered a serious crime in Saudi Arabia and carries the death penalty.

It’s a god damn outrage.



  1. Pteryxx says

    …Isn’t a thousand lashes basically just a death sentence?


    Apparently they break the lashings up into weekly sessions with “planned hospitalizations” in between. *hrk*

    Bloomberg article

    It could have gone worse for Badawi: Had the judge not thrown out the charge of apostasy, he would have received a death sentence.

    He’ll probably survive the whipping only because it comes in four sessions with planned hospitalizations in between. He has until Sept. 6 to file an appeal.

    From another case in 2008: Slate article

    It depends on how you’re lashed. It’s very unlikely that the doctor will die from his sentence if it is administered in the usual Saudi Arabian way—i.e., broken up into weekly bouts of 50 lashings each. (Women are given 20 to 30 at a time.) But a string of regular punishments administered over a span of seven months could still be dangerous. After just one round of lashings, he could suffer lacerated or bruised skin. More serious problems are likely to arise after repeated, weekly abuse—including nerve damage and infection.

    Saudi Arabia does have some safeguards to protect the health of the person being lashed. For example, doctors inspect the medical condition of a prisoner ahead of time to determine whether he or she is fit to be lashed. (There tends not to be a post-lashing inspection.)

  2. says

    He’ll probably survive the whipping only because it comes in four sessions with planned hospitalizations in between.

    Oh. My. Fuck.

  3. says

    Hard to believe – unless one considers the pervasively pernicious influence of religion – that this is occurring in the second decade of the frigging 21st century: 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes (!!!) and a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals (about US$266,631); and for what? “Apostasy”! For setting up an online forum for a public debate on religion!

    A thousand lashes! Seriously, what kind of god feels the need to employ such brutal, thuggish henchmen?

  4. dmcclean says

    Isn’t it beautiful that these shitheads have all the benefits of modern antibiotics in their little bubble of 13th century hell? So they can lash someone 1000 times. Glory be to god. Fuck.

  5. Blanche Quizno says

    WHY is our government, the US government, allies with these subhuman monsters??

    Oh yeah – oil. Everything is fine because oil. No matter the details. How long can we continue this amoral, IMMORAL alliance?? Are we THAT addicted that we can compromise absolutely *ANYTHING* for oil?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *