Last year, 30-year-old Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was punished for starting a progressive website that called for, among other things, religious tolerance and women’s rights. That was insulting to Islam, said his critics. He was sentenced at the time to seven years in prison and 600 lashes.
By Hemant Mehta—Friendly Atheist
His sentence was overturned… but that respite was brief. In May, Badawi was given an even harsher punishment:
… the Criminal Court has sentenced Badawi to ten years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a one million riyal fine (USD $266,631).
His lawyers appealed the ruling, but we learned in September that the decision was upheld. Great justice system they have in Saudi Arabia…
On Wednesday, Badawi was awarded the “netizen” prize by Reporters Without Borders. While he couldn’t accept the award in person, he sent a message that was read at the ceremony: