By Ensaf Haidar, via The Washington Post
On June 17, 2012, my husband, Raif Badawi, the father of my three children and my best friend, was arrested in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. For nearly three years, as he has languished in prison, my family has been trapped in a nightmare.
Raif is a man of principle and a respected activist in Saudi Arabia. In 2008, he started a blog where readers could openly discuss politics, religion and other social issues. But in Saudi Arabia, one can pay an unthinkable price simply for blogging. Raif was convicted of insulting Islam and violating the kingdom’s repressive information-technology laws.
Then this January, in a show of cruelty, the authorities lashed Raif 50 times. He still faces 950 more lashes and seven more years in prison. I didn’t think there could be anything worse than watching a shaky cellphone video of my husband being publicly beaten in front of a mosque thousands of miles away. But recently I learned of efforts to retry Raif on a charge of apostasy — that he has abandoned or renounced Islam. This information chilled me to my core because, under Saudi law, such a charge is punishable by death — usually by beheading.
If the court finds my husband guilty, I fear we will never see him again. How will my children grow up without their father?….(read more)
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