Two days ago I got an email/Press Release from Irish PEN calling for the release of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi – and his lawyer Abu al-Khair – from prison. Badawi’s crime? Setting up a website, the Saudi Free Liberals Forum. As for his lawyer – who knows? Badawi has also been sentenced to 1000 lashes.
I’ve looked at some translations of Badawi’s articles (e.g. from a Guardian article by Ian Black*, and a single article on the WordPress site https://raifbadawi.wordpress.com) and yes, they are angry and confrontational, but what they call for is secularism and the right to political debate and free speech – rights we are guaranteed in Ireland and an ideal many of us aspire to. Badawi says: For me, liberalism simply means, live and let live.
A comment left on the WordPress…
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