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Liberal Saudi Web Forum Founder Sentenced To 600 Lashes and 7 Years In Prison 506

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-a-moment-to-appreciate-free-speech dept.
cold fjord writes "Some reformers travel a harder road than others. The Seattle Times reports, 'The founder of a liberal-minded website in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes after angering Islamic authorities in the ultraconservative kingdom. ... Raif Badawi, through his website known as Free Saudi Liberals, had urged Saudis to share opinions about the role of religion in the country, which follows a strict form of Islam that includes harsh punishments for challenging customs. A judge in the Red Sea port of Jiddah imposed the sentences but dropped charges of apostasy, which could have brought a death sentence, the Al-Watan newspaper reported. Badawi has been held since June 2012.' More at details are available at the BBC, which informs us that 'The judge ordered that the 600 lashes be administered 150 at a time.' 'The lashes could be spread out but in Sharia this is a sign that the judge wants to insult him,' Badawi's lawyer said."
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Liberal Saudi Web Forum Founder Sentenced To 600 Lashes and 7 Years In Prison

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  • Re:150 lashes? (Score:3, Informative)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:47PM (#44439931) Homepage

    Saudi lashes are not Western lashes.
    In Western countries, when we we performed lashes it was full force and if just several dozen were performed you are talking potential death, broken bones, and striping flesh off of ribs.

    Saudi lashes lashes are more of a sever spanking, causing bleeding and bruising. In particular the wipper is forced to hold a Koran in their swinging arm.

  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @05:28PM (#44440435) Homepage

    "Its still barbaric. Just because this judge didn't give an even more severe sentence does not stop this being barbaric."

    Yup. That's my point exactly.

  • Re:150 lashes? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @05:30PM (#44440469)

    Your comment got me curious, so I went and looked it up. From a 2006 report [state.gov] on human rights practices published by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor:

    "According to press reports, lashings were generally administered with a thin reed by a man who must hold a book under his arm to prevent him from lifting the arm too high. The strokes, delivered through a thin shirt, are not supposed to leave permanent damage but are designed to leave painful welts that bleed and bruise."

    A paragraph or so above that quote is a reference from Human Rights Watch that says that the lashed do not receive medical treatment.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tanktalus (794810) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @05:59PM (#44440777) Journal

    As a Christian who is offended by the US Evangelical misuse of the term "Creationism" to mean something entirely silly, and tired of having to explain how it's only a small minority of Christians, with whom I do take an active role in attempting to re-educate every chance I get, and not Christianity in general that believes the earth is less than 10k years old ...

    I thought the OP was funny.

  • Re:150 lashes? (Score:4, Informative)

    by painandgreed (692585) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @06:37PM (#44441141)

    I think he's using the past tense as in the DISTANT past, like 250 years ago on western sailing warships and the like, or back in the days of slavery.

    "Distant past" would be 140 years ago in 1881 for flogging with a cat of nine tails and 77 years ago in 1936 for caning in the British navy. Even then it was just suspended and not actually taken off the books until the 1960's.

    The US navy had gotten rid of flogging in 1850.

  • Re:150 lashes? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @06:58PM (#44441355)

    Here's an article from Slate

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2008/11/how_many_lashes_can_one_man_take.html

    How Many Lashes Can One Man Take?
    Thousands, if they're performed correctly.

    It depends on how you're lashed. It's very unlikely that the doctor will die from his sentence if it is administered in the usual Saudi Arabian way—i.e., broken up into weekly bouts of 50 lashings each. (Women are given 20 to 30 at a time.) But a string of regular punishments administered over a span of seven months could still be dangerous. After just one round of lashings, he could suffer lacerated or bruised skin. More serious problems are likely to arise after repeated, weekly abuse—including nerve damage and infection.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:58PM (#44442923)
    The place to look at was Turkey - it was a shithole until Attaturk drove the religion out of politics, so much of a shithole that we get the word genocide from the place. Now religion is creeping back into it's politics again with visible negative results.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by sg_oneill (159032) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:41PM (#44443187)

    Yeah islam actually uses both the old and new testamant (Islam is in a strange way an offshoot of christianity, in that it has jesus as the messiah, etc).

    Well you know all those weird little laws people love to gasp about with islam? They are in the bible too, right down to pork bans, silly hats, long fasts and everything.

    And for the most part the sillier ones traditionally got about as much attention as we gave them in christianity. Except for the fact a bunch of fundie jerks got control over some countries and started enforcing the silly laws. But you know the worst part? Most of those fundie jerks are only in power thanks to meddling by western oil powers. Iranians being the exception (Shia has its own type of whackiness)

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