Last night, I barely slept. Images of the thirty one year old Raif Badwi being savagely lashed by a group of "men" have been haunting my night and prevented me from closing my eyes. Different questions have been hitting my mind: Where am I living? What the hell is happening on the planet Earth? How can we use such backward and primitive means to punish a Man? How can I help Raif and the hundreds if not thousands of people experiencing the same fate in KSA? How can we "Humans" help stopping such barbarisms and backwardnesses? Is expressing ones thoughts a crime? Is writing a crime? Is blogging a crime? Is freedom of speech a reality or a myth?
The night before I was invited by DW to take part in an online debate about Raif's case and I was really shocked by the commentaries of several persons supporting the application of that backward sentence on Raif. "We have to abide by Sharia laws and rules " they have been repeating .
The night has been really long and I couldn't find answers to my questions. The young man has been locked in a Saudi Arabian prison since 2012 not for being a thief or a killer but for daring to create a blog and question the role of religion in politics and state affairs. He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and the reception of 1000 lashes. He is due to undergo 50 lashes every week after Friday prayers, which will continue for 20 weeks until his punishment is complete. Two weeks ago he has been driven to a public square and publicly received the first fifty lashes amid the euphoria of crazy spectators who chanted "Allahu Akbar" !
Last week Raif was spared the public punishment on health grounds. His multiple wounds didn't heal . He would not be able to withstand another round of lashes at that time. Such reasoning and declarations seem so ironic. Do people who are still using such inacceptable and backward sentences really care about the health or life of a human being?
People all around the world expressed their outrage and announced their support to Raif Badawi. A worldwide petition calling on Saudi's King Abdullah to pardon Badwi has been launched. Demonstrations and marches have been organized in every corner of the globe. But is the King's pardon the solution? Shall we stop at that point ? What about the unknown persons continuously lashed in KSA? What about those who had been beheaded ? What about the daily attacks and crimes against Human rights in KSA ? What about Loujain and Maissa who are languishing in a jail for driving?
We are theoritically cherishing freedoms and Human rights but when it comes to practice we kindly close our eyes in front of attacks on Human rights and accept to deal with a country giving its Ambassador in France the orders to march for peace and freedom of speech whereas its citizens are deprived of their basic Human rights .