back to article Lashed Saudi blogger Raif: Prince Charles has word with new king

The UK's Prince Charles has raised the issue of the fate of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi with Saudi Arabia's newly appointed King Salman during a six-day state visit to the region. Badawi was found guilty in 2013 of insulting Islam in Facebook posts and of running an online activist message board called Liberal Saudi Network that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1. Danny 14

      fucking mental is a better description. Barbaric is for things such as eating with fingers when a knife and fork would be more appropriate.

      Punishment vs crime has gone all out the window on this one but governments don't want to upset the opec cartel chiefs do they.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This always cheers me up. When the old Saudi king came on a visit to the UK in 2007 (I think) the Welsh guard played Darth Vader's Imperial March as a lightweight protest/commentary about Saudi policy and actions. It's a pretty good news report and goes to show that nothing much has changed.

        All the receiving dignitaries have my undying respect for keeping straight faces...I would have howled.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon

          I was over there many years ago when I was 15 and we were walking through Tabuk when we were accosted by a crowd and pushed to the front to view whatever it was they were looking at.

          They were stoning a woman to death. For adultery. Apparently her husband had cast her off and she took a lover, but technically still being married she was sentenced to death and they tried to force us (children) to watch them carry out the sentence.

          Fotrunately I was already 6ft and the other lad with us was quite stocky and we forced our way out of the crowd, but it makes my blood boil to this day.

          Fucking animals.

        2. regadpellagru

          "All the receiving dignitaries have my undying respect for keeping straight faces...I would have howled."

          Yep, same from my side. Have an upvote.

          Really good to see the ol' sacrcastic UK (Wales is still part of UK, I think :-) humor can also be put into official guard music.

          I wish we french can do that as well. Sadly, it won't happen here.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Barbaric is for things such as eating with fingers when a knife and fork would be more appropriate."

        Why would one want to use utensils?

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first

    "Je suis Raif"

    Where are all the politicians linking arms and chanting this?

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Je ne connait pas Raif

      Those in power have more to lose than they have to they wont fuck with the Saudis.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    as one of our (if not biggest) Arms customers, the best we can hope for is that the rest of his punishment isnt publicised.

    Although i do have to agree with Jake, they are mostly barbaric bastards who we should have no dealings with at all....

    Instead of buying their oil, we should invest in nuclear power.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: Sadly

      and nuclear cars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sadly

        and nuclear trains, planes, boilers, plastics, fertilizers.......

      2. Brandon 2

        Re: Sadly

        by nuclear cars you mean electric where the electricity was generated by a nuclear reactor? because I'm all for it!!! As soon as batteries make a large leap forward in their ability to store energy and be charged faster... 150 miles isn't going to cut it, especially on this (the American) side of the pond.

        thermonuclear icon for the batteries, not nuke plants :)

  4. adnim

    "harmed the reputation of the state,"

    Yes the decision to punish this man has further harmed the reputation of the state.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: "harmed the reputation of the state,"

      It is not punishment, it is GBH.

      Punishment requires a crime.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: "harmed the reputation of the state,"

        There was a crime. Just because in this country it wouldn't be a crime, and you don't personally consider he did anything wrong, doesn't change that.

        It's barbaric but legal. In fact it's barbaric that it IS legal.

  5. John G Imrie

    Expected Outcome

    The Medical report will say that he is still not fit for the lashing and another one will be commissioned in a months time. This will be repeated until he leaves prison at which point the flogging will be conveniently forgotten about.

    1. Richard Taylor 2

      Re: Expected Outcome

      Or the press forget about it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Judiciary vs the Executive

    Chaz can speak to the new ruler but the judiciary and the executive are separate entities. The judiciary have passed judgement using the laws as they are now. The executive can change the laws to avoid this in the future but all that the current King can do is to offer a pardon.

    1. Just Enough

      Re: Judiciary vs the Executive

      The Saudi King can do whatever the hell he wants. If he wants this man released it will happen. If he wants him locked up forever, it will happen. If he wants the flogging to stop, it will happen.

    2. The Mole

      Re: Judiciary vs the Executive

      "but all that the current King can do is to offer a pardon."

      Yes, but I'm not sure why you say 'all' when that outcome is exactly what everybody would like. All that needs to happen is for the king to give him the pardon. (And ideally the laws get changed/no longer abused).

  7. Valerion

    One day

    The oil will run out, and then Saudi can go back to being a desert backwater, and we won't have to pretend to be friends with then anymore.

    1. adnim

      Re: One day

      I don't pretend now but then again my value system has been self determined. Not decided by the state or greed.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: One day

      4 minutes after the oil runs out Saudi will be the world's biggest above ground nuclear tests by all sides.

  8. skeptical i
    Thumb Down

    So Saudi deals with accusations of doing bad stuff by ...

    doing bad stuff? Huhm, OK.

    I am reminded of a discussion some colleagues had recently in which one of my compadres absolutely railed against someone else. The substance of the accusations was correct, but the rest of us didn't think of that, we were too distracted wondering who pissed in my amigo's cornflakes that morning and those present who were new to the issue only took away that my amigo is an asshat.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: So Saudi deals with accusations of doing bad stuff by ...

      I'm not quite sure what point you're making here. Raif blogged on Facebook, and much as I loath that organisation (Zog passim) I don't think it warranted 10 years imprisonment and beating to death. Whichever comes first.

  9. Youngone Silver badge

    Saudi or ISIS

    Every time I hear a politician explain why we should be fighting ISIS (or whatever they're called at the moment), I think, yes but you've just described Saudi Arabia, why don't we bomb them instead?

    Of course I also know the answer.

  10. Stevie


    I'd think the fucktard who handed down the punishment has done more to harm the reputation of the state than this formerly unknown blogger has.

  11. JustNiz

    Please inform youselves instead of making assumptions

    All you people who are loudly claiming that this corporal punishment is "barbaric" need to see the actual video of him being "lashed".

    Each hit Is little more than a tap with a thin cane perfomed over clothing. It appears to hardly inflict discomfort, let alone any real pain or physical injury. The cane at our school in 1970's UK was way worse than that.

    Since this is also taking place in a public square, It seems very clear that the punishment is actually all about public humiliation rather than anything corporal. Since seeing the video, I for one don't think its so bad as punishments go. if it was me I'd easily choose such a lashing over serving prison time.

    if you really want to something worthwhile to complain about around this case, it should be his incarcertation, or better yet, the fact that he got punished at all for just blogging. The lashing part actually seems a relatively insignificant issue now I've seen it.

    1. DocJames

      Re: Please inform youselves instead of making assumptions

      But one week after 50 of these "little more than taps", doctors state he cannot undergo a repeat of this "public humiliation rather than anything corporal" as it might kill him?

      Utter crap. You should be ashamed of yourself, and I hope you are.

      1. JustNiz

        Re: Please inform youselves instead of making assumptions

        ..and of course there is absolutely no chance that doctor is just saying that to get him off.

      2. JustNiz

        Re: Please inform youselves instead of making assumptions

        ...and if you checked the facts instead of just gone off you'd know that the doctor is advising against it becuse of the hypertension he is suffering from, not physical injury.

        1. DocJames

          Re: Please inform youselves instead of making assumptions

          Well, I don't think the doctor is likely to be risking his* own skin in order to delay the patient suffering, given the ease of obtaining a second opinion and dislike that legal systems worldwide have of anyone trying to stymie their sentence.

          And hypertension doesn't normally carry a significant risk of death in the short term, so I doubt very much that that has much to do with the punishment/delay. It can be present from pain, so perhaps the pain from 50 lashes is sufficient to drive an already elevated BP to dangerous levels, but this would appear to suggest physical injury... I don't actually know enough to provide a firm professional opinion however, as my medical education did not include how to mediate torture.

          Hypertension is merely a risk factor for vascular (arterial) badness (such as heart attacks/strokes/aortic aneurysms/peripheral vascular disease), so maybe the doctor was concerned that his BP of say 160/90 was enough that he'd have a chance of being >220/110 during the torturelashes, and this was concerning enough that the doc didn't want to be responsible for signing off on him being in a fit state. This is guesswork, based on how doctors behave and what you state about the hypertension being the reason for delay.

          * somehow I think it's unlikely to be a her.

  12. dan1980

    Prince Charles? Really?

    Okay, I fully understand (and agree with) all the comments about how barbaric this is and so forth. BUT, am I really the first to be more surprised that someone is suggesting that Prince Charles is a good person to raise a sensitive international issue without causing offence?

    Prince Charles is a chip of the old block if ever there was one.

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