Nearly three years ago, a progressive Saudi blogger named Raif Badawi was imprisoned by the Saudi government. Over the course of two years, he remained in prison through a tumultuous legal battle, before being sentenced last May to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes. His crime? “Insulting Islam through electronic channels.” Atheist and religious allies (including Muslims and ex-Muslims alike) have been outspoken about this clear human rights violation, and vocal in demanding his immediate release. June 17th will mark three years since his imprisonment, and activists are getting creative in trying to bring awareness to this important issue.
Today we received a message from a reader asking us to petition Google to dedicate a Google Doodle to Badawi, which I think is a great idea! Our reader even provided some helpful verbiage to use when contacting Google:
“Dear Google Doodlers,
On June 17, Raif Badawi, the world-renowned Saudi blogger, will have been in a Saudi prison for 3 years. He was publicly flogged and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam.” What he really did, was speak up for human rights in Saudi Arabia.
I’m writing to ask you to consider creating a Google Doodle in honor of Raif Badawi. June 17th would be an ideal day for it to run, marking his third year in prison. However, any day would be great, as it will help bring awareness to this important issue.
Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Emails can be sent to [email protected]. If you feel like contributing to this cause in other helpful ways you can visit Amnesty International’s website, where they’ve put together a #FreeRaif toolkit.