Members of USCIRF Offer to Endure Saudi Blogger’s Lashes


Seven members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom have offered to personally endure most of the whippings that a liberal Saudi blogger has been sentenced to endure for “insulting Islam.”

USCIRF (YOO’-surf) Chair Katrina Lantos Swett says she and her fellow commissioners made their offer to Saudi officials as individual followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism rather than as representatives of the government agency.

Raif Badawi was sentenced in May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes and was fined $266,000. He received the first 50 lashes in a public square earlier this month.

In a letter, the seven signatories, including former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon, call Badawi’s sentence a “grave injustice” and say they would rather present themselves to each suffer 100 of his lashes “than stand by and watch him being cruelly tortured.”

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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