January 9 in freethought history…

raifbadawiJanuary 9, 2015 – Saudi journalist and blogger Raif Badawi receives 50 lashes in public for supposedly “insulting Islam.” Badawi was convicted in 2013 for publishing articles critical of Muslim leaders and institutions, and was sentenced by a Saudi court to receive 1,000 lashes (to be administered 50 lashes at a time over 20 weeks), 10 years’ imprisonment, and a fine of more than a quarter million dollars. Saudi authorities have repeatedly postponed the second set of lashes due to his health problems (and no doubt also due to intense international pressures). Badawi’s wife and children have been forced to seek asylum in Canada, and his attorney has been persecuted by the Saudi government. Badawi remains in prison as of January 9, 2016.

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