Houston Protests Saudi Blogger’s 1000 Lashes Sentence

The Houston chapter of Amnesty International is protesting the sentence of 1000 lashes given to a blogger in Saudi Arabia.


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Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. Image from his Facebook profile


Saudi blogger Raif Badawi has been ordered to endure 20 weekly sets of 50 lashes — in public — until he is whipped 1000 times. He’s already had 50 lashes.

Jimmy Dunne, and other local members of Amnesty International, gathered at the Saudi Arabian consulate on Westheimer to demonstrate against what they say is medieval treatment.

“We think it’s barbaric, inhumane and sadistic to use this form of punishment or torture on this man for just simply expressing his opinion,” says Dunne.  

This local protest comes as eight U.S. Senators and the U.S. State Department are pressuring the Saudi government to cancel the punishment. But Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, doubts the Saudi government is listening. Green is not sure whether it would work to boycott petroleum products from Saudi Aramco, which has a Houston office.

“I don’t know how much that will impact what the law is in Saudi Arabia, any more than protests at our companies or embassies in other parts of the world about something the United States may be doing that they disagree with,” says Green. 

The first public flogging took place last Friday before dozens of people in Jeddah.


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