Oh, do better, State Department. Come on.
QUESTION: Saudi Arabia.
MR RATHKE: Yeah.
QUESTION: Do you have any comment or reaction on the upholding by the supreme court of the blogger’s verdict and punishment by flogging?
MR RATHKE: We are deeply concerned that the Saudi supreme court has upheld the 10-year prison sentence and 1,000 lashes for human rights activist and blogger Raif Badawi for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and religion. As we had previously said back in January, the United States Government continues to call on Saudi authorities to cancel this brutal punishment and to review Badawi’s case and sentence. We strongly oppose laws, including apostasy laws, that restrict the exercise of freedom of expression, and we urge all countries to uphold these.
QUESTION: So would you like to see this – the court said the only way it could be overturned was with a royal pardon. Would you be – are you looking for the new king to grant a pardon in this case? [Read more…]