Raif Badawi is a Saudi Arabian writer / activist / blogger. In 2008 he “established Liberal Saudi Network, a now-closed online forum that sought to encourage debate on religious and political matters”. You can find out more about his writing here: “a man who risked his freedom to question some of the basic tenets of life in Saudi Arabia – especially the central role of religion”.
Badawi was arrested in 2012 and recently sentenced to 1000 lashes. After the first round of 50 lashes last Friday, the second round has been postponed for medical reasons, and an appeal is before the supreme court.
As Amnesty International states:
Postponement of Raif Badawi flogging on medical grounds exposes shocking brutality of punishment
“Not only does this postponement on health grounds expose the utter brutality of this punishment, it underlines its outrageous inhumanity. The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous. Flogging should not be carried out under any circumstances,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program.
“Flogging is prohibited under international law along with other forms of corporal punishment. His flogging appears to have been postponed for now but there is no way of knowing whether Saudi Arabia’s authorities will fully comply with the doctor’s advice. Raif Badawi is still at immediate risk.”
The flogging has prompted an international outcry with supporters from across the world including Amnesty International members rallying to protest against Raif Badawi’s flogging and to campaign for him to be immediately and unconditionally released as he is a prisoner of conscience.