On the evening of Jan 16, Amnesty International showed up outside the embassy of Saudi Arabia. A Saudi cultural event was about to start inside, and Amnesty was there to remind everyone that the Saudi monarchy needs to cancel the remaining 19 flogging sessions liberal blogger Raif Badawi has been sentenced to, release him from prison, and permit him to exit the country to join his wift and three young children.
Earlier today, Saudi Arabia postponed his second round of 50 lashes, claiming infected wounds from last week required a delay. There is also the possiblity that the Saudi regime is still stinging from the fierce whipping their reputation has been taking since globally Friday, January 9 when Raif was beaten in public with the first 50 out of 1,000 lashes.
During the rising years of the Arab Spring, Raif called for constitutional (instead of absolute) monarchy and separation of mosque and state. For this he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 equivalent fine-and 1,000 lashes to be delivered with a heavy cane, 50 lashes a week for 20 weeks. A sentence of 1,000 lashes all at once has been known for centuries to kill more often than not.
Meanwhile, the United States is locked in an addict-pusher relationship with Saudi Arabia, with oil deemed more important than human rights. Just as Canada deems their tar sands oil more valuble than the lives of the First Nation people who live where the tar sands are, so does the US deem Saudi oil more valuble than Saudi lives.