The devastatingly horrible news has come for blogger Raif Badawi and his family that the Saudi supreme court has upheld the guilty verdict against him, and confirmed punishment of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison, for the crime of “insulting Islam”.
And yet, the Canadian government considers Saudi Arabia to be an ally, happily supplying billions of dollars worth of arms to the Saudi government, apparently without any restrictions or assurances that the equipment won’t be used against the Saudi people.
- three bloggers murdered this year in Bangladesh: Ananta Bijoy Das, Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman
- Raif Badawi and his lawyer, Walid Abulkhair imprisoned for championing freedom of speech
- Malala Yousafzai shot in the face and hundreds of girls in Nigeria kidnapped by Islamic militants for for the “crime” of being educated while female
- countless others in exile, such as Salman Rushdi, and Taslima Nasrin
And closer to home, we should also remember the victims of Christianity – those first nations children who were abused and tormented in church-run residential schools.