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Public Flogging Adds To Free Speech Debate

People take part in a protest by Amnesty International, for the immediate release of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, in front of the Saudi Embassy in The Hague, on January 15, 2015. (Martijn Beekman/AFP/Getty Images)
People take part in a protest by Amnesty International, for the immediate release of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, in front of the Saudi Embassy in The Hague, on January 15, 2015. (Martijn Beekman/AFP/Getty Images)

A man named Raif Badawi will be publicly lashed 50 times in Saudi Arabia tomorrow. His crime: starting a blog that questioned life in the autocratic country, especially the central role of religion. His blog was shut down and he was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, in weekly installments.

Human rights groups are condemning what they see as an attack on free speech, especially after Saudi Arabia sent officials to last week’s unity rally in Paris that followed the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Steven Hawkins, executive director Amnesty International USA, discusses this with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Guest

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