Raif Badawi and the brutality of Saudi Arabia


Seven years and several hunger strikes later, Badawi, having served his sentence, has been freed. But his future remains uncertain. He is prohibited from leaving Saudi Arabia for a further 10 years under the terms of his original sentence - which therefore prevents him from reuniting with his wife and children, who now live in Canada. And no doubt he is being watched carefully by Saudi security forces for any signs that he is once again challenging this most Islamic of states. After all, Badawi's very existence, his refusal to submit to the strictures and edicts of life in a theocracy, poses a threat to the Saudi regime - it is perhaps only his international fame that saves him from the fate of others less well known, their decapitated bodies a grim testament to the kingdom's intolerance of dissent.

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