Human Rights Activists to Deliver Petition Against Saudi Blogger Sentencing

CODEPINK Press Release

Human Rights Activists to Deliver Petition Signatures After Saudi Supreme Court Uploads Saudi Blogger Sentencing

June 10, 2015 

Contact: Alli McCracken, CODEPINK National Coordinator, 860-575-5692,Alli@codepink.org

Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Co-founder, 415-236-6517medea@codepink.org

Where: Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW DC

When: Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 12:30pm 

Washington, DC –– Activists from CODEPINK and the Institute for Gulf Affairs will gather in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy at 12:30PM on Thursday, June 10 to protest the Supreme Court’s June 7 decision upholding Raif Badawi’s sentence and to deliver a petition calling on the Saudi government to free him. Badawi was sentenced to 1000 lashes simply for publishing a blog criticizing the Saudi monarchy. Badawi’s punishment is to be carried out in increments of 50 every Friday. The first 50 lashes were inflicted on January 9th, and ever since an international outcry followed his lashings have been postponed. But human right activists fear they will be resumed this Friday following the Supreme Court decision.  

Badawi is married and is the father of three young children. “The court's decision terrifies me. It means that Raif will not only stay behind bars thousands of miles away from us — his family — but also that he might be flogged again as soon as this Friday. Though he hasn't been flogged since January 9, his sentence states that he is set to endure 950 more lashes over the span of 19 agonizing weeks,” said Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar.

Human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, CODEPINK and the Institute for Gulf Affairs have publicly spoken out against his sentencing. “Torture-by-flogging should be banned, and its perpetrators listed as human rights criminals,” said Ali Al-Ahmed, Saudi scholar and director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

“As human rights activists, we condemn flogging as a barbaric punishment, and we condemn the persecution of activists who are simply exercising their right to freedom of speech,” said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin. “Saudi Arabia should be held accountable on the international stage for their perpetual violations of human rights, and it’s time for the United States to sever its cozy relationship with this repressive monarchy.”

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