We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Saudi Blogger Imprisoned for Supporting Free Speech

by Stephen Lendman Monday, Jun. 08, 2015 at 8:43 AM
l

police state

Saudi Blogger Imprisoned for Supporting Free Speech

by Stephen Lendman

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's most repressive police states. Its barbarism is widely acknowledged. Fundamental rights guaranteed under international law are ruthlessly denied.

Raif Badawi is a Saudi blogger. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, 1,000 lashes (50 at a time), and a one million riyals fine (around $250,000) for championing free speech on his site.

It was titled Saudi Free Liberals Forum until shut down after his 2012 arrest. Riyadh's kangaroo/rubber-stamp High Court upheld his sentence for insulting Wahhabi-style Islam - a fanatical Sunni sect.

Initially he was charged with apostasy - a capital offense in the Kingdom. In 2013, the accusation was dropped.

In January, he got his first 50 lashes after Friday prayers outside Jeddah's Al-Juffali mosque.

He was due for 50 more 19 weeks later. They were postponed for medical reasons. Amnesty International said it was "to let (him) heal enough to suffer again."

Saudis forced Raif's father to publicly renounce his son for "parental disobedience" on national television. In the Kingdom, it's a crime to disobey fathers.

Raif's wife, Ensaf Haidar, received anonymous threats before seeking political asylum in Montreal with her three children.

"Raif told me he is in a lot of pain after his flogging. His health is poor. I told our children (what happened) so they would not (first) find out about it from friends at school. It's a huge shock for them."

One of Badawi's posts said "(y)ou have the right to express and think whatever you want as you have the right to declare what you think about it, it is your right to believe or think, have the right to love and to hate, from your right to be a liberal or Islamist."

In another, he said "Arab and Islamic societies (need) to uphold the value of the individual and uphold freedom and respect for his thinking."

"States which are based on a religious basis confine their people in the circle of faith and fear."

He argued for "secularism (as) the most important refuge for citizens of a country. (It) respects everyone and does not offend anyone."

"As soon as a thinker starts to reveal his ideas, you will find hundreds of fatwas that accused him of being an infidel just because he had the courage to discuss some sacred topics."

He opposes Israel's occupation while at the same time saying "I do not want to replace Israel (with) a religious state…spreading the culture of death and ignorance among its people when we need modernization and hope."

"States based on religious ideology…have nothing except the fear of God and an inability to face up to life."

"…Muslims in Saudi Arabia not only disrespect the beliefs of others, but also charge them with infidelity…(T)hey consider anyone (not) Muslim an infidel and…non-Hanbali (the Saudi school of Islam) Muslims as apostates."

These and other remarks unacceptable to Riyadh got him arrested, convicted and imprisoned.

Following his 2012 arrest, Amnesty International designated him a prisoner of conscience "detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression."

Human Rights Watch called for dropping charges against him "based solely (on his) involvement in setting up a website for peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures…violat(ing) his right of freedom of expression."

Badawi's lawyer was imprisoned for establishing Monitor of Human  Rights in Saudi Arabia. He was charged with "setting up an unlicensed organization" and "breaking allegiance with the ruler."

In reviewing Riyadh's UN Human Rights Council membership, HRW said:

"Over the last year, Saudi authorities have harassed, investigated, prosecuted, and jailed prominent peaceful dissidents and human rights activists on vague charges based solely on their peaceful practice of basic rights, particularly the right to free expression…"

AI said they "continue a relentless campaign of repression in the name of security…(Anyone) express(ing) dissent (or calling for reform) face(s) arrest and imprisonment."

Badawi is one of thousands of victims. His wife said Saudi authorities want him retried for apostasy. If convicted, he'll face capital punishment - likely by beheading.

Through May, Saudis executed 90 individuals this way - compared to 88 throughout 2014.

One is too many. So is reckless use of capital punishment - often against innocent victims or others  charged with offenses too minor to matter or for political reasons.

AI is involved in an international campaign to free Badawi. It thanked "over 1 million Amnesty supporters worldwide who have contacted Saudi authorities to express their outrage and demand his release."

His sentence stands. He remains in prison. His wife said "this is a final decision that is irrevocable" without a royal pardon.

In a letter from prison Badawi said "(a)ll this cruel suffering happened to me only because I expressed my opinion."

Public views differing from rogue Saudi policies risk arrest, imprisonment, floggings and at times death - most often by barbaric beheadings.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy