“Saudi Arabian rights activist Raif Badawi has been publicly flogged for insulting Islam despite international outcry over the sentence handed down by a court in the conservative kingdom, Amnesty International and his wife said. The flogging Friday in Jeddah was the first of 20 such sessions imposed by a Saudi court after Badawi’s 2014 conviction. He was arrested after creating an online forum in 2008 that his wife says was meant to encourage discussion about faith……….Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, said the video was difficult to watch. “It’s a scene I cannot describe. It was horrible,” she said from Canada. “Every lash killed me……….”
Some of the Middle East potentates and dictators rode the Charlie Hebdo bandwagon. Some of them sent leaders, officials, or had mock marches in their capitals. All in support of Charlie, that is Charlie Hebdo, a magazine I occasionally browse online, a magazine they would never allow in their own countries. Solidarity with a magazine they all think should not be allowed to publish anywhere in the world. Others were more discreet about the whole affair.
They arrest journalists, writers, and common citizens who openly speak. Not “blasphemy”, just criticism of government and its oligarchs.
Now they ride the bandwagon of “freedom of the press”, as they ‘celebrate’ the defense of free speech in Paris, only in Paris. From the Persian-American Gulf to the Nile River. At the same time they arrest more people at home, and they sentence more free speakers to prison on trumped up charges, and they sentence people to internal and external exile, and they publicly flog free speakers in their countries. M. Hollande and Mr. cameron never protest such travesties. And the freedom-loving Western leaders keep arming them with the weapons needed to keep up the repression. In exchange for some nominal fee………
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum