A ray of hope? The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – who is Jordanian – has told Saudi Arabia to stop flogging Raif Badawi. Ok has asked, urged, called on, whatever – he’s not in a position to tell. But still.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Saudi Arabia on Thursday to stop the serial flogging of an atheist and civil rights blogger sentenced to receive 1,000 lashes over an extended period.
Raif Badawi, who set up a website called “Free Saudi Liberals”, received 50 lashes after Friday prayers last week and global rights groups say he is expected to be submitted to a second round on Friday.
“Flogging is in my view at very least a form of cruel and inhuman punishment,” High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement from his Geneva office. As such, it was banned under international rights law, he added.
“I appeal to the King of Saudi Arabia to exercise his power to halt the public flogging by pardoning Mr Badawi, and to urgently review this type of extraordinary harsh penalty,” said Zeid, a former Jordanian diplomat.
DO IT, KING.
Funny, I listened to an interview with Zeid by the BBC last night and the interviewer asked about Raif (without naming him) and I thought Zeid gave a completely useless answer – generalities about capital punishment elsewhere. I was frustrated and furious – I was not expecting this! On the contrary, I thought it was a sign of the opposite – he wasn’t going to do a damn thing about it.