Saudi Arabia: Two Women Sentenced To Ten Lashes For WhatsApp Insults
Two women in Saudi Arabia have been sentenced to ten lashes each after insulting one another via WhatsApp. The two unnamed women were sentenced to the brutal punishment after trading insults on the messaging app this year, local media reports.
One of the most famous cases is that of Raif Badawi, a 33-year-old blogger who is serving a ten year prison sentence and is due to receive a total of 1,000 lashes.
Mr Badawi founded website Free Saudi Liberals and called for free speech and was first detained in 2008, but released after questioning.
He was arrested again in June 2012, and charged with ‘insulting Islam through electronic channels’ before his conviction in 2014.
The first 50 of the 1,000 lashes were administered in 2015, but following punishments has had to be postponed due to his health.
His wife Ensaf Haidar, who who fled to Canada with the couple’s three children in 2013, says the 50 lashes nearly killed her husband, who suffers from high blood pressure.
Last year, journalist Alaa Brinji was sentenced to five years in prison and given an eight-year travel ban over messages he posted to Twitter.
He was found guilty of charges including insulting Saudi rulers, inciting public opinion and accusing security forces of killing protesters in the kingdom’s predominantly Shiite east.