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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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  • 150 lashes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:07PM (#44439425)

    How many does it take to kill a person? Just wondering...

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

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:17PM (#44439561) Homepage

    I doubt you can really put a number on it. I know there used to be superstition on exactly this topic and people used to only get some odd number for that reason; however, I think its likely that either someone once died while being whipped; starting the rumor, or someone started it just to have an excuse not to go overboard.

    In reality I think it would come down to both the health of the person and the technique of the lasher. I have certainly given 150 or more lashings and seen others give even more/harder lashings but, I doubt anything we do in our bedrooms comes close to what these guys do.

    Would also depend on the whip. A bull whip, for example, is much worst than most modern bsdm "cat o 9 tails" types that tend to be made from 10s of foot long strips of soft leather. In fact, I have heard people rant about idiots with no experience who buy bull whips as sex toys without realizing how much damage they can do.

    Its likely highly variable.

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

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:24PM (#44439635) Homepage

    of course, the funny thing is, I occasionally think twice about posting about smoking pot on here, even though I am not actually admitting to a crime in my state. Yet I don't think twice about admitting to having whipped someone for sexual purposes....when my state makes no exception for consensual bdsm in its domestic abuse laws, and doesn't require the "abused" to even agree that they were abused or want to press charges.

    People here still talk about paddleborough

  • Re:Remember this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:26PM (#44439677)

    Does the religion not dictate the politics and the legal aspects of their society?

    Partially yes, but eventually they will have to come to terms with the fact that 1400? year old religious-based legal system just cannot be applied in a modern world. Many Muslims have already realized this and accepted it, while others are fighting it tooth and nail. But when it does happen, the legal framework within the religion will be forgotten/ignored much like in Judaism, and then it will really be no more violent/dangerous than modern day Christianity and Judaism are. Because when you think about it, where Islam is right now, Christianity was at the same age. Imagine 14th century Christianity existing right now. It would look pretty bad too.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:35PM (#44439781)

    yes.. they are the right wing christian's theocratic wet dream

    No, right wing Christians are generally much bigger fans of Saudi Arabia's only truly democratic and generally freedom-espousing neighbor, Israel. To get on Israel's bad side in terms of speech, you pretty much have to give a threat of genocide. Which of course actually does happen frequently due to the loveliness of Islamic Sharia and its campaigns against the Western world. Which brings us back to Saudi Arabia.

  • Re:Remember this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:37PM (#44439799)

    Bullshit, he let women drive, attend university. That guy was nearly a saint compared to these assholes.

    Heck, the CIA put him in power and until Bush 1 he was our best buddy.

  • Re:A prime example (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @04:44PM (#44439881)

    This presumes the aliens have a lifespan similar to our own.

    Just here on earth, compare:

    Lifespan of a fruit fly: about 7 to 14 days.
    Time to travel across the US by highway, east to west: 7 to 14 days (depending on traffic and route taken)

    What truckers do routinely as a vocation takes an entire lifetime for a fly.

    Again, that's just here on earth.

    If said aliens have 1000 year lifespans, then they could spend 300 years training for the mission, 300 years to get here from the nearest star, and 300 years to return there, and still have around 100 years to tell the rest of their civilization all about it. (We are assuming some non-trivial fraction of C during travel.)

  • by Cigarra (652458) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @05:02PM (#44440141)
    You have death penalty in the US. And CIA-sanctioned extrajudicial torture. And lots of children-killing drones that rain death all over Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan, among others. And if you're convicted in your late teens for, say, smoking pot, your life is pretty much ruined forever, thanks to the eternal stain that won't let you get an education or a decent job, therefore making sure you remain in poverty ad aeternum.

    Is that somehow less barbaric than what Saudi Arabia does? Please explain how.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @05:08PM (#44440207) Journal

    True facts: If you try to light a beacon of freedom, it doesn't catch. Illuminates nothing. Dark, cold, non-flammable freedom.

    But if you try to light a beacon of petroleum, it lights. Brilliantly. Oh, sure, lots of smoke and maybe a risk of wildfire or explosion. But light. Lots of it.

    So, you tell me, what works better for a beacon: oil, or freedom?

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

    by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @05:33PM (#44440491) Homepage Journal

    death by lashes depends largely on how they're administered - so if it's practically something that is death or just slap on the wrist is negotiable by whoever is in power.

    saudi arabia sucks big time and they can all go suck cocks. fucking burma is more fair.

    if you're going to be a saudi arabian net-activist - first thing you should do would be to move the fuck away from there, because they're giant cocksuckers the whole lot.

    now - they know that their business is all purely dependent on oil which is why they're dumping money on some IT business among other tech jobs, which is why there's lots of gigs to there. don't fucking go there to work - and double don't fucking go there to work if you're a woman, just stay the fuck away unless you're invited by royalty and paid royally.

    I don't have this harsh opinions about many countries, but saudi arabia consistently manages to be a fuckhole of DIFFERENT RULES FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE only rivaled by north korea. russia doesn't get half close, china doesn't get close, even the mentioned burma doesn't get half close. even in china getting away with murder of hired underclass is hard and involves both bribing and maintaining secrecy and then escaping the mob retaliation - even if you're part of the party. in saudi arabia no such problems.

    you know how in the gulf oil arab countries booze is banned? well fuck, in practice it's available but you'll have to pay through the nose for it since the local booze mafia is run by the princes(ruling class). insulting that class? well fuck, only if you're part of it can you do it. and the worst thing? the fucker saudis aren't even embarrassed about it and act all surprised if they get caught acting like they do when they're visiting other countries as if their slavery contracts extended elsewhere from their shithole in the desert.

    btw religion has nothing to do with the state of affairs there, it's just a tool.

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

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @06:21PM (#44440999) Homepage

    Fascinating. Ouch, that could still hurt....a lot. However, its not nearly what I, or I think most people, imagine at the idea of "lashings".

    That said, I don't think the description really does justice to how much pain that really could still cause. A thin reed being so small can generate an awful lot of pain without doing much damage.

    I guess in the grand scheme of these whether this is better or worst than being sentenced to time in jail is a matter of personal opinion (I might actually take the beating over the time if it was more than a week or two).... totally aside from how just disgusted I am at the reasons for it.

    However, lets keep this in perspective... just a few years ago they wanted to stone a woman to death for "being seen in public with a man who was not her husband".... in an incident where the "witnesses" dragged her from a car and gang raped her.... but were not themselves charged with anything. Her life was only spared after international pressure.

    So I guess this is.... not as terrible as that. Um.... good job guys.

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