The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Flogging of already wounded Saudi blogger delayed so that he can sustain more flogging

Raif Badawi is a Saudi Arabian blogger who launched the site Saudi Free Liberals Forum and was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam on the site, according to Al Jazeera. Each Friday, he is to receive an installment of 50 lashes, an ordeal that continues for 20 weeks “until his punishment is complete”; that process began last Friday.

Based on an Amnesty International report, the punishment is too extreme for its own heinous schedule. Amnesty International says that Badawi’s punishment has been postponed on “medical grounds.” A doctor that examined Badawi “concluded that the wounds had not yet healed properly and that he would not be able to withstand another round of lashes at this time.”

An Amnesty International official noted, “The notion that Raif Badawi must be allowed to heal so that he can suffer this cruel punishment again and again is macabre and outrageous.” The BBC is reporting that a “review” of the case is underway, perhaps because of international pressure.