Friday, January 9, 2015

Note to Walker: Brush up on Saudi Arabia

You may remember when Scott Walker played foreign policy pundit and suggested that the Cuba to which President Obama extended diplomatic relations was less virtuous than, say, Saudi Arabia.

If Walker can tear himself away from sucking up to big donors and out-flanking fellow Tea Party candidates like Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz he might want to give this Associated Press report from the Middle East a gander:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam was brought after Friday prayers to a public square in the port city of Jiddah and flogged 50 times before hundreds of spectators, a witness to the lashing said.
The witness said Raif Badawi's feet and hands were shackled during the flogging but his face was visible. He remained silent and did not cry out, said the witness, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity fearing government reprisal.
Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He had criticized Saudi Arabia's powerful clerics on a liberal blog he founded. The blog has since been shut down. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 1 million riyals or about $266,600.,,
He was originally sentenced in 2013 to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in relation to the charges, but after an appeal, the judge stiffened the punishment. Following his arrest, his wife and children left the kingdom for Canada.
Rights groups argue that the case against Badawi is part of a wider crackdown on freedom of speech and dissent in Saudi Arabia since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Criticism of clerics is seen as a red line because of their prestige in the kingdom, as well as their influential role in supporting government policies.


Anonymous said...

I would think that Walker would be all for this type of theology based punishment.

Anonymous said...

And we still buy oil and sell arms to them.