Warning: This article contains graphic video.
A Saudi Arabian blogger convicted of insulting Islam received the first 50 of a sentenced 10,000 public lashes of his sentence on Friday.
Raif Badawi, a 30-year-old father of three, is founder of the blog Saudi Arabian Liberals, which reportedly openly criticized the country’s clerics. He was first detained in June 2012, and sentenced in May 2014 to 1,000 lashes, 10 years in prison, and a fine of 1 million Saudi riyal, or about $266,000.
Badawi’s sentence was resoundingly condemned in the West. The U.S. state department called it “inhumane.” Human rights organization Amnesty International decried it as part of “a ruthless campaign to silence peaceful activists.”
An eyewitness told the Guardian that Badawi stood shackled during the lashing, though his face was visible, and that he didn’t cry out.
A video of a man being lashed in public, purportedly Badawi, has since surfaced on YouTube.
Badawi’s wife and children have since fled to Canada, the Guardian reported.
Photo via Iqbal Osman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)