Back to the Court of Appeal in Jeddah

Amnesty reports a new fact relating to Raif Badawi –

Raif Badawi was not publicly flogged on Friday 30 January for unclear reasons. Unlike in previous weeks he was not called from his cell and examined by the prison doctor. It is unclear why the routine medical check-up did not take place and or why the flogging was postponed.

Amnesty International also learned that Raif Badawi’s case was referred on 3 February from the Supreme Court back to the Court of Appeal in Jeddah. No further information about the details of this transfer were made available. The Supreme Court could have upheld the conviction and sentence, or it could have called for a retrial by overturning the sentence and conviction or by making observations and recommendations. The Saudi Arabian authorities have not yet made an official statement on the case despite the international outcry.

However as long as the sentence to flogging and prison stands, Raif Badawi remains at risk of flogging and will serve his 10-year prison sentence.

The Supreme Court has sent the case back to the Court of Appeal in Jeddah. It’s impossible to know what that could mean, but…to an outsider it looks like people in Saud-family Arabia passing a hot potato around, trying to figure out how to get out of a mess with the least possible embarrassment to themselves.

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