'Flogging for Blogging': Official Saudi Policy

By Medea Benjamin, Huffington Post

On January 9, two days after the massive Paris march condemning the brutal attack on freedom of the press, a young Saudi prisoner named Raif Badawi was removed from his cell in shackles and taken to a public square in Jeddah. There he was flogged 50 times before hundreds of spectators who had just finished midday prayers. The 50 lashes -- labeled by Amnesty International a "vicious act of cruelty" -- was the first installment on his sentence of 1,000 floggings, as well as 10 years in prison and a fine of $266,000. Badawi's crime? Blogging. More...

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