A re-trial for apostasy

The Independent talked to Ensaf Haidar and gives us more details on yesterday’s terrible news:

Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger whose punishment of 1,000 lashes has prompted international condemnation, may now face the death penalty.

Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told The Independent in a series of messages that judges in Saudi Arabia’s criminal court want him to undergo a re-trial for apostasy. If found guilty, he would face a death sentence.

She said the “dangerous information” had come from “official sources” inside the conservative kingdom…

In 2013, a judge threw out the charge of apostasy against the 31-year-old blogger after he assured the court that he was a Muslim. The evidence against him had included the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.

The news that the charge may now be re-examined will come as a bitter blow to Mr Badawi’s family and supporters, who had hoped that the international pressure over his case would prompt Saudi Arabia to reduce his sentence.

I haven’t got enough swear words to express my feelings.


  1. Decker says

    Canada has a duty to speak out loudly about this case. We took in Raif’s wife and children as refugees and so we have the duty to reunite him with his family. It’s time the world shamed these backward Saudi savages and exposed their primitive medieval _jurisprudence_ for the insanity it is.

  2. Trebuchet says

    I’ve been saying the Saudis would never let Raif leave prison alive, but expected they’d just suspend the floggings and let him rot in jail, figuring the protests would blow over in time. Instead, they’re doubling down. Shameful. What’s the difference between Saudi Arabia and ISIS? One chops peoples heads off for differences of religion and the other….

    I’m ashamed to live in a country that considers SA an ally.

  3. says

    Words fail me. So the evidence on which a man’s life and death hangs is whether they clicked “LIKE” on facebook?

    The notion that you’re born into a “nationality” or “religion” — someday I hope those ideas will be seen as the pernicious bullshit that they are.

  4. Trebuchet says

    @4, Marcus: Because if one of your parents was a Muslim, you’re a Muslim, and can never be anything else. Which probably make Obama an apostate Muslim, now that I think of it. Off with his head!

  5. says

    Because if one of your parents was a Muslim, you’re a Muslim, and can never be anything else.

    Ah, yes, the believers believe that belief is heritable. So much for “choice” – I suppose god has no interest in willing subjects, he’ll just take whatever gets dragged in the door, and has a shitfit if whatever was dragged in walks out of its own accord. Big mistake, god, making your robots think they have “choice”.

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