Blogger Sentenced to 1,000 Lashes for ‘Insulting Islam’ Granted Temporary Reprieve

BadawiJEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — A Saudi Arabian blogger who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam” online has received a temporary reprieve from his flogging after doctors considered him incapable of handling another beating.

Raif Badawi, 31, ran the “Free Saudi Liberals” blog since 2000 as a means to provide a forum to discuss Islam. But in 2012, Badawi was arrested and charged with “insulting Islam” and “promoting liberalism.” He was sentenced in May 2014 to 10 years in prison, a fine of one million Saudi Arabian riyals—the equivalent of $266,060—and 1,000 lashes, receiving 50 a week for 20 weeks.

In the second week of January, the blogger received his first 50 lashes in the square in front of al-Jafali mosque while members of the public circled around him to watch.

“Raif raised his head towards the sky, closing his eyes and arching his back. He was silent, but you could tell from his face and his body that he was in real pain,” an eyewitness who remained anonymous for security reasons told Amnesty International.

“The officer beat Raif on his back and legs, counting the lashes until they reached 50,” he continued. “When it was over, the crowd shouted, ‘Allah-hu Akbar! Allah-hu Akbar!'”

Badawi was to have received his second round of lashes the following week, and again last Friday, but doctors at the prison clinic concluded that he would not be able to physically withstand the flogging so soon.

But some state that the punishment is atrocious and are calling upon officials to free the blogger and father of three.

  • Connect with Christian News

“Not only does this postponement on health grounds expose the utter brutality of this punishment, it underlines its outrageous inhumanity,” stated Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program. “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.”

On Thursday, approximately 200 protesters gathered in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy in London to express their disapproval of the flogging.

“It’s a de facto death sentence,” participant Philip Hall, 55, told the Guardian. “The human body cannot withstand it.”

Five religious liberty advocates have also written to the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, calling the sentencing a “grave injustice” and offering themselves to receive 100 lashes each on Badawi’s behalf.

“We would rather share in his victimization than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured,” the letter states. “If your government does not see fit to stop this from happening, we are prepared to present ourselves to receive our share of Mr. Badawi’s unjust punishment.”

It is not yet known whether Badawi’s punishment will resume on Friday. Doctors will likely again access the writer to discern whether or not he will be able to withstand the beating.

As previously reported, Open Doors International reports that Christians are forced to worship in secret in the country as it classifies Saudi Arabia as #6 on its “World Watch List” of the 100 most dangerous places to live as a Christian. Saudi Arabia is the home of Mecca and the “Mosque of the Prophet,” which contains the tomb of the Islamic prophet Mohammad.


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, our hearts are deeply grieved by the ongoing devastation in Iraq, and through this we have been compelled to take a stand at the gates of hell against the enemy who came to kill and destroy. Bibles for Iraq is a project to put Arabic and Kurdish audio Bibles into the hands of Iraqi and Syrian refugees—many of whom are illiterate and who have never heard the gospel.Will you stand with us and make a donation today to this important effort? Please click here to send a Bible to a refugee >>

Print Friendly
  • Andrew Diamond

    Those who are offering to take on 100 lashes; now that’s Christianity

    • dark477

      You know he’s an atheist.

      • Andrew Diamond

        What does that have to do with anything?

        • dark477

          I thought that you thought he was christian.

          • Andrew Diamond

            It doesn’t matter what he believes, all I’m saying is that the act of taking on his punishment would be true Christianity. But I can kind of see how my comment could be a little misleading. My bad.

  • gregkliebigsr

    “I , AM GOD!” saith the LORD.

    ” I AM, THE GOD (YAHWEH) WHO SENT HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON (YESHUA) TO THE EARTH TO DEAL WITH THE SIN PROBLEM OF HUMANITY!!!”
    JOHN 3: 16. For God so loved the WORLD( each and every person on earth), that he gave his only begotten Son (JESUS), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    17. For God sent not his Son (JESUS) into the world to condemn the world; but that the WORLD(all of humanity) through him might be saved.

    18. He(any person) that believeth on him (JESUS) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (JESUS).

    Hebrews 9: 22. And almost all things are by the law purged with BLOOD ; and without shedding of BLOOD is no remission.

    JOHN 3:35. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given ALL things into his hand.

    36. He that BELIEVETH ON the Son hath everlasting life: and he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH of God abideth on him.

    Hebrews 9: 27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

    28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    Deuteronomy 5 :7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me!

    Deuteronomy 5 : 8. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

    9. Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

  • gregkliebigsr

    ACTS 17: 30

    And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but

    now commandeth all men every where to repent

    : 31 Because he hath

    appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness

    by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance

    unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    JOHN 3: 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;

    but the wrath of God abideth on him.

  • gregkliebigsr

    JUST REPENT ; THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THIS allah CHARACTER ! RENOUNCE THIS EVIL AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL FORGIVE YOU !

    John 14: 6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    THE OFFSPRING OF satan, IS,allah !!

    OK, ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE QURAN? IF YOU ARE, THEN PLEASE READ IN THE BOOK OF SUR; CHAPTERS 47 AND 53 . THEN AFTER YOU HAVE READ THAT, THEN TELL ME WHICH GOD YOU WANT TO FOLLOW AND TRUST FOR YOUR ETERNAL SALVATION!

    ISLAM IS A RELIGION BASED ON HATRED: HATRED IS OF THE DEVIL SATAN; SO THEREFORE ISLAM AND ALL FOLLOWERS IN THE ISLAM RELIGION ARE FOLLOWING SATAN ; THEIR DEEDS ARE FULL OF HATRED , EVIL AND MURDER !! allah IS A DEMON SENT FROM SATAN TO DESTROY ALL FOLLOWERS OF muhammad THE FALSE PROPHET !!

  • robertzaccour

    It’s sad that people could actually stand there and watch something like this. How could anyone with a heart not step up and try to defend this person? It’s hard to believe that there wouldn’t be people in large numbers getting involved to stop this.

  • Susan Moore

    Jesus arose from the dead and his tomb. Mohammad never rose from the dead!

  • EdWalton

    The saudi government and its monarchs will answer to a HOLY GOD.

  • lemondrop1

    and tell me how is Islam a religion of peace? if you insult Christianity , that won’t happen. to those offering to take his lashes, you are real stewards of Jesus. I don’t see how anyone can stand by to watch but the society today is sad. they mocked Jesus when he was flogged. I hope this guy knows Jesus or seeks him if he doesn’t.