In a sickening display of human rights abuses, Saudi Arabia’s supreme court upheld a sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail against blogger Raef Badawi.
The charges are for insulting Islam.
“This is a final decision that is irrevocable,” Ensaf Haidar, Badawi’s wife, said from Canada, where she is seeking asylum with the couple’s three children.
“This decision has shocked me.”
Badawi received the first 50 lashes of his sentence outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah in January, but this led to medical complications that postponed the following two weeks’ torture.
The large whip used in the public torture slices flesh, resulting in the victims’ whole back being stripped of flesh.
His wife expressed fear that flogging sentence “might resume next week.”
“I was optimistic that the advent of (the Muslim fasting month of) Ramadan and the arrival of a new king would bring a pardon for the prisoners of conscience, including my husband,” she said.
Amnesty International slammed the “abhorrent” ruling to uphold a “cruel and unjust sentence,” describing it as a “dark day for freedom of expression.”
“Blogging is not a crime and Raif Badawi is being punished merely for daring to exercise his right to freedom of expression,” Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director, stated.
Badawi co-founded the Saudi Liberal Network Internet discussion group for which he was arrested in June 2012.
A posting on the website which criticized Saudi Arabia’s notorious religious police was what caused him to be tortured.