THE CANADIAN PRESS – SIDHARTHA BANERJEE
MONTREAL – Supporters of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi are sounding the alarm that his flogging could soon resume.
The Montreal-based foundation that bears Badawi’s name said this week it has it on good authority his punishment will begin again.
The information comes from a “private source” who is the same person who informed Badawi’s family in Canada about the first series of lashes in January 2015.
Evelyne Abitbol, the foundation’s executive director, conceded Tuesday it isn’t known for sure if or when the lashes will resume. Nonetheless, the organization found the information credible enough to convey it publicly.
“We believe this information is right because it came from the same source,” Abitbol said. “We thought: If we don’t do anything and he is flogged, we would not be happy about not alerting the international community.”
The blogger was sentenced to 10 years in jail, 1,000 lashes and a large fine following a 2014 conviction for his criticism of Saudi clerics.
Badawi, who was arrested in 2012, received the first 50 lashes but is not believed to have had any since for health reasons.