A Saudi blogger went through severe punishment of 50 lashes in public after Friday prayers outside a mosque in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah. Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison last May for ridiculing Islamic religious figures. Today, the blogger was flogged 50 times in the first round while being chained up.
Flogging began after prayers at a place outside mosque, known by the dreadful name of ‘Chop Chop Square’. Surrounded by a crowd of the public and number of security officers; he received 50 consecutive lashes on his back. Rest of his whipping will be carried out over a period of 50 weeks. The whole ordeal lasted around 15 minutes. Afterwards he was put back in the bus and taken away.
Rafi Badawi was an online activist who was first arrested in 2012 on the charges of blasphemy by Saudi Arabian government. He was found guilty of insulting Islam on his Free Saudi Liberals website which he co-founded. The website has been blocked now. He was also ordered by the Jeddah criminal court to pay a fine of 1m Saudi riyals, or about $266,000. The case is being widely condemned by many human right groups.