The Saudi authorities may begin tomorrow (Friday) to carry out the public whipping to which website creator Raef Badawi was sentenced in November, Reporters Without Borders has learned from his wife, Ensaf Haidar, who is now a refugee in Canada.
Reporters Without Borders has repeatedly condemned the barbaric nature of this punishment ever since Badawi was sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes on 5 November.
If the authorities go ahead as Badawi’s wife believes, tomorrow will become Saudi Arabia’s Friday of Shame, with the first of 50 weekly sessions of 20 lashes. The young netizen has been detained since 17 June 2012.
“Although Saudi Arabia condemned yesterday’s cowardly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, it is now preparing to inflict the most barbaric punishment on a citizen who just used his freedom of expression and information, the same freedom that cost the French journalists their lives,” Reporters Without Borders programme director Lucie Morillon said.
Reporters Without Borders thanks the 14,000 people who have already signed its petition for Badawi’s release and urges others to show their support by adding their signatures, so that the world does not ignore the inhuman punishment that he may be about to receive.
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