Question for the State Department: How is this different from what ISIS does?
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Saudi blogger who was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes will be publicly flogged for the first time after Friday prayers outside a mosque in the Red Sea coastal city of Jiddah, a person close to his case said Thursday.
Raif Baddawi was sentenced on charges related to accusations that he insulted Islam on a liberal online forum he had created. He was also ordered by the Jiddah Criminal Court to pay a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals, or about $266,000.
Rights groups and activists say his case is part of a wider clampdown on dissent throughout the kingdom. Officials have increasingly blunted calls for reforms since the region’s 2011 Arab Spring upheaval.
He called from prison and informed his family of the flogging, due Friday, said a person close to the case. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal, said Badawi was “being used as an example for others to see.”