The Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi today (9 January) received a public flogging in the port city of Jeddah. Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, responded with the following statement:
I condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s public flogging of Raif Badawi. This cruel form of punishment, carried out in full public view, is inhumane, a human rights violation and a breach of the international human rights commitments Saudi Arabia has entered into. All Raif Badawi did was to make use of his right to freedom of opinion by setting up a website for public debate. And for that he is being so brutally punished.
I appeal to the Government of Saudi Arabia to observe fundamental human rights and to refrain from carrying out the rest of the sentence.